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'It turned into a nightmare pretty quickly' - Ireland striker suffers third ACL injury

Wexford Youths’ Rianna Jarrett lasted just nine minutes before coming off against Italy.

Jarrett can't believe her bad luck.
Jarrett can't believe her bad luck.
Image: YouTube/FAI TV

LAST FRIDAY WAS supposed to be a special day for Rianna Jarrett as the Wexford Youths striker would finally make her debut at senior international level.

The 21-year-old came on as a second half substitute, replacing Megan Connolly, to earn her first Ireland cap in their Cyprus Cup win over Italy in Larnaca.

Unfortunately, Jarrett lasted just nine minutes before going down with a painful sensation she has become all too familiar with during her relatively short career.

She had battled her way back to fitness after picking up an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the 2013-14 Women’s National League (WNL) campaign.

Then when a first appearance for Sue Ronan’s Ireland team was within touching distance, disaster struck again.

Called up for the winter training camp in La Manga just over a year ago, Jarrett featured in a practice match against Norway but did her right ACL for the second time early on in the game.

The road to recovery has been a long and frustrating one, but, having missed out on Youths’ first WNL title win and Champions League debut, she returned to the pitch in October and came on as a substitute in the Women’s FAI Cup final victory over Shelbourne at the Aviva Stadium.

Now surgery and at least nine months of rehabilitation awaits.

“It was great to come on and get my first senior cap,” Jarrett told FAI TV.  ”I’ve been waiting to get my first cap the last time I was in and around the Irish squad — January last year when I unfortunately tore my ACL.

“I’ve been building towards this since then, trying to get back fit and get ready to win my first cap and luckily I did that on Friday.

It turned into a nightmare pretty quickly as I ended up tearing the ACL in my left knee this time.

“I’m not overly sure what happened but the ball was played into me in the middle of the field and I went in and my left knee caved in. So it didn’t end the way I had planned.

“I’ve tore my ACL twice before so I was hoping and praying it wasn’t that, but I got a sense it was a similar feeling and having done it before you do think the worst when you get any sort of a knock.”

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Rianna posted “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” on Instagram:

Rianna Jarrett Insta Source: Instagram/riannajarrett

And also tweeted:

She added: “I was devastated as I’ve managed to get myself back into the set-up and then to have that taken away so quickly. But I don’t see any reason why I can’t come back from it again and maybe I’m lucky that it’s on the left side this time and not more damage to the right side.

“I’m hoping we can get the surgery as quickly as possible when we do get home so I can start the recovery. If it does take that little bit longer there’s no problem. I’m only 21 so I’d like to think that I’ve a good few years ahead of me yet.”

Jarrett will be watching from the sidelines this afternoon as Ireland are in action against Hungary in the Cyprus Cup.

Watch the full FAI TV interview here:

Source: FAI TV/YouTube

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Ben Blake

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