Charlton Athletic and Ireland's Chloe Mustaki out for rest of season with ACL injury
FA Championship club Charlton Athletic have confirmed that Chloe Mustaki has ruptured her anterior cruciate ligament and will be out for the rest of the season.
The 24 year-old defender, who has recovered after a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma cancer after being diagnosed in 2014, sustained the injury during a challenge with her Irish teammate.
It was during their final training session before last week's Euro 2021 qualifying game against Greece, where they won 1-0.
She said: "I knew the second it happened that was me for months. I wasn’t screaming, but I was rocking with pain. It was intense until the meds kicked in.
"I’ve had injuries before, but nothing on this scale at all. But I guess due to my history, putting things in perspective isn’t so difficult for me. Once the news had sunk in it was, ‘right Chloe, pick yourself back up’."
Mustaki captained the Irish Under-19 team to the semi-finals at the 2014 European Championships and after she returned to good health, went on to play for her national side in 2017 at the World University games in Taipei.
And it was last September when she was called up to the senior squad for the first time, but is yet to earn her first cap.
"My ambition since I finished up with the 19s was to get back into the international set-up, it was something I was working towards almost since my diagnosis. I was just so happy. I had waited so long for the chance," she added.
Two months later she signed for Charlton and is determined to prove herself.
She said: "Hopefully in a year’s time I’ll be back in the mix. Some people I’ve spoken to said forced time out of sport allowed them improve their physical condition and they came back for the better afterwards, you have time you didn’t have before to work on things.
"So maybe this is an opportunity for me to put in that work and be a better player when I come back. I just have to make sure I have the right mentality and discipline.
"This injury isn’t life-threatening. I’ve been in a situation where my life has been at risk. In that sense I’m able to put a perspective on things. So yeah, I’ll keep my head up. I’ll get through it."
Ireland sealed a 3-0 victory against Montenegro as part of their Euro 2021 qualifying campaign yesterday.
And Charlton currently sit bottom of the Championship and will next face Crystal Palace on March 15.