In an untimely blow, new Liverpool Women forward Sophie Roman Haug sustained a broken nose and facial fracture after competing for Norway on Tuesday.
While the weekend is the official start of the new WSL campaign, after it was pushed back due to the World Cup, players have been with their respective nations for an international break.
It is far from ideal preparation and Matt Beard has been hit with a significant injury, with Haug, their record summer signing, now facing a spell on the sidelines.
The forward was named in Norway’s XI to meet Portugal but was substituted in the 10th minute after medical treatment following a collision with Portuguese goalkeeper Ines Pereira.
The duo were both tended to and consequently could not see out the game, with the injury sustained by Liverpool’s Haug “more serious than the doctor first thought.”
According to VG, a Norweigan outlet, who was relaying information from the national team doctor Magnus Myntevik, Haug has broken her nose and suffered a fracture to her face.
Sophie Roman Haug after a duel with the Portuguese keeper… pic.twitter.com/1eAq5qGXLi
— Mia Eriksson (@mia_eriksson) September 26, 2023
The 24-year-old was immediately taken to hospital and was sent for a specialist assessment in Porto on Wednesday morning, and, thankfully, she was cleared to travel back to Liverpool.
“Given the conditions, I am doing well, and have received good follow-up from the medical team and at the hospital here in Portugal,” Haug told VG.
“In the situation itself, I was only focused on the ball, so I therefore did not fully understand what actually happened, but have seen the pictures afterwards.”
Treatment will continue on her return to the club but it rules the forward out of Liverpool’s opening game of the season on Sunday, against Arsenal at the Emirates.
Manager Matt Beard recently said the forward was the “final piece of the jigsaw puzzle” and a club record fee signalled how highly Haug is rated.
It is an untimely blow for the Reds, to say the least, as they look to make a strong start to the season – which starts with their first three league opponents all finishing in last season’s top six.