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Fractured orbital forces Abby Wambach out of Western New York season opener

Apr 13, 2014, 5:32 PM EDT

abby_wambach AP

A head-to-head collision on a second half cross saw Abby Wambach play the rest of Thursday’s U.S. Women’s National Team friendly with a boxer’s swelling around her left eye. This morning, the Western New York Flash announced international soccer’s all-time leading scorer would miss her team’s season opener in Washington, D.C., with the striker diagnosed with a fractured orbital upon returning to her club.

From the team’s early Sunday release, just over six hours before the Flash took the field against the Washington Spirit:

During the U.S. Women’s National Team’s 3-0 win over China on Thursday, Abby Wambach sustained a facial injury early in the second half. After arriving with the Flash in Washington, it was confirmed that Wambach suffered a fractured orbital bone below her left eye.

Wambach has been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Washington and is day-to-day in regards to her return to play.

It’s reasonable to infer Wambach should be back for Saturday’s home opener against the Chicago Red Stars, though given the murky injury concerns that befell the star early last season, anything concerning Wambach, injuries around the head, and full disclosure might deserve a little skepticism. There’s been no suggestion Wambach suffered anything close to a concussion, but the day-to-day prognosis may prove optimistic.  It may also reflect the team’s inability to get acquire a protective mask in time for Sunday’s opener.

In her absence, Western New York’s attack hasn’t suffered, with last year’s finalists scoring three times within the 67 minutes at Washington (the game is ongoing at the time of this post). Against tougher opposition, however, Wambach’s absence may hurt more. The Rochester, N.Y., native finished second in the NWSL in both goals and assists in 2013.

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