Chelsea and England forward Fran Kirby says she has lacked the energy “to even get off the sofa” because of a virus that has kept her out for six weeks.
In a social media post, the 26-year-old said the illness had “hit her hard” but that she is now “feeling better”.
“Those around me have seen me at my most vulnerable, and have supported me more than I could imagine,” said Kirby, who has won 45 England caps.
“Once I get over this virus I’ll be back on the pitch giving my all.”
Chelsea are third in the Women’s Super League, four points behind leaders Arsenal with a game in hand.
The arrival of superstar Australian striker Sam Kerr has compensated for the absence of Kirby, who did not give a date for her return.
“I haven’t had much to smile about the last six weeks, and haven’t had much energy to even get off the sofa to go and make myself some food,” she added.
Kirby made the last of her four appearances for Chelsea this season as a substitute in November’s 1-0 win over Manchester United after missing the start of the campaign because of injury.
She was part of the England squad that reached the World Cup semi-finals last summer despite seeing her season disrupted by a series of ankle, hamstring and knee injuries.
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