Fran Kirby: ‘I was seeing different specialists, getting an oxygen tent’

The England forward discusses her fatigue problem, how going public helped and her delight at making the Euro 2022 squadFran Kirby is back. Those are words every England fan wants to hear, everyone with an ounce of compassion has been desperate for and every other team fears.On 15 April Chelsea’s manager, Emma Hayes, had announced the forward’s indefinite absence because of a fatigue problem for which they could find no answer. It was the latest in a long line of body blows that have blighted the supremely talented player’s career, from the death of her mother at 14 and the severe depression that followed and forced her out of the game to having pericarditis, a debilitating condition affecting the fluid-filled sac around the heart, for much of the 2019-20 season. This latest setback left the Euros looking a world away.

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