Manchester City have announced captain Steph Houghton is set for “a spell on the sidelines” having undergone Achilles surgery.
The 33-year-old defender, England’s skipper at the last two World Cups, was put out of action last September by an Achilles injury.
She made a return in January before suffering a recurrence of the issue.
We can confirm that captain @stephhoughton2 is set for a spell on the sidelines after recently undergoing surgery on an Achilles injury.
— Manchester City (@ManCity) February 24, 2022
And a statement on her club’s official website on Thursday said: “Manchester City can confirm that captain Steph Houghton is set for a spell on the sidelines after recently undergoing surgery on an Achilles injury.
“The defender is now progressing to rehabilitation with the club and will return to training in the near future.”
Houghton was forced to withdraw from England boss Sarina Wiegman’s first Lionesses squad last September and is still yet to play under the Dutchwoman, with Leah Williamson, Millie Bright and Ellen White having worn the armband in her absence.
England, who won the Arnold Clark Cup with a 3-1 victory over Germany on Wednesday, are next in action in April with World Cup qualifiers away against North Macedonia and Northern Ireland.
Their Euro 2022 campaign begins on July 6 with a clash against Austria at Old Trafford.
Wiegman: England ‘growing really fast’
England boss Sarina Wiegman said she felt her team were “growing really fast” after they beat Germany 3-1 at Molineux to win the Arnold Clark Cup.
After Ellen White’s 15th-minute opener for the Lionesses was cancelled out by an excellent Lina Magull free-kick just prior to the break, England struck twice more late on through Millie Bright in the 84th minute and then Fran Kirby in stoppage time.
The result, following draws against Canada (1-1) and Spain (0-0), sees hosts England finish ahead of the latter on goal difference at the top of the new invitational tournament’s final table.
“Of course it’s really nice to win a tournament, and you always want to win every game,” said Wiegman.
“The tournament has been great. I think we expected three top-level opponents, and we did get that. We wanted to develop our style of play, to get to know about ourselves more, what options we have within our team, try different players in different positions. We did that, and I think then it’s really nice to finish with a 3-1 win.
“I think what we have shown and how we have developed this week and what we have seen from our team, and different players, that’s really good. We can continue from there. The other teams develop too.
“It’s just really good to see today how we won, because we didn’t play a great match. I think we played better against Spain.
“Germany is very tough, very powerful, had a lot of speed up front and we were not tight enough on the ball. But then still we scored three goals.
“I think we showed resilience. Even though we had a hard time keeping the ball long in possession, we changed a little bit, and you see this teamwork and effort to really get that goal to win. That’s very satisfying.
“What we’ve shown ourselves is we can win against any opponent, but it’s really tight. I think we have done a great job and as a team we are growing really fast.”