Soccer

FIFA Women's World Cup: England coach optimistic keeper will recover

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Eye inflammation forced Karen Bardsley to sidelines in Canada match

England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley, left,being checked by teammate Steph Houghtin, was forced out of the England-Canada quarter-final game by an eye inflammation but is expected to be o.k. for Wednesday's semifinal. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press)

England coach Mark Sampson is optimistic goalkeeper Karen Bardsley will recover from a mystery eye problem in time for the Women's World Cup semi-final against Japan on Wednesday in Edmonton.

Bardsley had to be withdrawn in the 52nd minute of England's 2-1 win over Canada in Vancouver on Saturday after suffering an eye inflammation. She was replaced by Siobhan Chamberlain.

"She is in a better place," Sampson said of Bardsley when he spoke to reporters on Sunday.

"It has certainly gone down, the swelling. I think by tomorrow she will be good to get herself on the training field and be up for selection for what is a really big game for us."

There was media speculation after the game that Bardsley may have suffered a reaction to the artificial surface or the small black pellets that make up part of the field.

But Sampson said it was not yet clear what caused the problem.

"We still don't know at the moment. We are pretty sure it's an allergic reaction to something.

"We have done some tests, we have sent some information back to the U.K which people are looking at now just to make sure we are aware and we can manage against it happening again.

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