Ljungberg injury a blow to Sweden’s Olympic football hopes

Ljungberg injury a blow to Sweden's Olympic football hopes
A thigh injury has forced Hanna Ljungberg, one of the key players on Sweden’s Beijing-bound women’s football team, to sit out the Olympic Games.

“It’s been a tough day…I’ve been crying,” Lundberg is quoted as saying in the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Instead of joining her teammates on the field for the squad’s opening match against Olympic-host nation China on Wednesday, Ljungberg will instead watch from the sidelines before heading back to Sweden on Thursday.

Ljungberg sat out a recent training match in Japan in an attempt to give her leg a chance to recover, but the injury has not healed to the extent necessary for her to compete.

“Hannah isn’t ready for match play just yet and no one can say if will take three or four days or even longer for her to come back,” said coach Thomas Dennerby at a Monday press conference, reports DN.

Johanna Almgren has been named as Ljungberg’s replacement in the starting eleven.

Ljungberg, a star forward for Umeå in Sweden’s top women’s football league, has been with the national team since 1998.

The games in Beijing would have been her fourth Olympic appearance for Sweden.