Chelsea’s Fran Kirby is continuing to fight for her career

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes (right) and Fran Kirby celebrate winning the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 05: Chelsea Manager Emma Hayes (right) and Fran Kirby celebrate winning the Vitality Women's FA Cup Final between Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC at Wembley Stadium on December 05, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images) /

The Chelsea world was shocked on Friday night when star forward Fran Kirby announced that she will miss action for the foreseeable future to focus on her health. The Blues still have a title race to fight for, now without one of their leaders playing in attack night in and night out. Last season, Chelsea swept the individual accolades with manager Emma Hayes winning WSL Manager of the Year while Kirby was named the Player of the Year. The England international’s presence on the pitch is second to none, and while she has not played since mid-February, the knowledge that one of the team leaders will not be in consideration for a while has to be a tough blow mentally.

All of that being said, Kirby is absolutely doing the right thing by doing what she knows in her heart is right. Hopefully, time will be able to heal whatever it is Kirby is going through at the moment as we all want to see her back in positive spirits.

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Chelsea forward Fran Kirby continues to battle for her career and health

After the news broke, Hayes spoke on her beloved forward, stating:

"“I don’t have a definitive reason why that is, we don’t know but we’re trying to get to the bottom of it and taking the time we can to try and find the right solutions for Fran. This is something that’s been ongoing and unfortunately, until we get to the bottom of it Fran won’t be available for selection.”"

Luckily for the Blues, they have so much depth in her position with players like Bethany England, Pernille Harder and Sam Kerr. Since joining Chelsea from Reading in 2015, Kirby has been a rockstar when it comes to scoring goals and putting her teammates in the right position to slot one home. She is admired by the rest of the team as her outgoing personality creates a positive atmosphere on and off the pitch. Kirby adds the all-important veteran leadership that simply can’t be measured using any sort of statistic.

Despite having been out for over two months now, Kirby is still tied for seventh in the league in goals scored. During the 2019/20 season, Kirby only played four league matches due to a sickness that she suffered in November of 2019 where she thought about calling it quits on the game of football. She suffered from an infection called Pericarditis, which is the inflammation of the sac that’s job is to protect the heart. Kirby had extreme chest pains, fainting and suffered from immense fatigue, which made it difficult for her to do almost anything at all. She could not imagine playing football again as her health at that point—rightfully—was her No. 1 priority.

Kirby is not one of those individuals that throws in the towel though. She never gave up until the day she finally felt like she could get back to training. The 28-year-old was relentless in her desire to get back on the pitch. Her training rotation was strenuous, but to Kirby, there was no other choice but to push herself to the absolute limit and do everything possible to put on a Chelsea uniform once again. Her training always fluctuated with how she was feeling at the moment, and as time passed, Kirby miraculously found her way back.

Her first match back was the 2020 FA Community Shield against Manchester City, where the Blues hoisted the trophy at the end of the day. Kirby is the definition of a warrior, and someone who, no matter the circumstances, always fights until she finally sees that light at the end of the tunnel. From losing her mother at an early age to suffering from a potentially career-ending illness, Kirby has been through it all. This season is no different as she is suffering from a lot of fatigue, but seeing Kirby and the journey she took back to the pitch a few years ago just demonstrates the fact that one can never say never with the England international.

If anyone in women’s football is going to get through something like this, it is Super Fran Kirby. Missing an unknown amount of time is tough for the team, but especially for someone who has been through this before. Hayes and Chelsea will continue to battle on the pitch for Kirby throughout the rest of the season. While she may not be physically there, the team knows that Kirby is always rooting for each and every one of them.

It is without a doubt devastating news for the Blues, but Kirby is doing the right thing when it comes to her health—that is all that matters in the grand scheme of things. Her future in football is yet again up in the air, but no matter what happens, Kirby will continue to battle to hopefully have a chance to do what she loves so much, score goals for Chelsea Football Club.

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All of us at The Pride of London send our best to Kirby and continue to hope for a speedy recovery in this incredibly difficult time.