Leah Williamson: England captain 'fit and ready' for return

Leah Williamson training with England
Leah Williamson missed the 2023 Women's World Cup after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury [Getty Images]

England defender Leah Williamson is "fit and ready" to make a return for the first time in a year in Friday's Euro 2025 qualifier against Sweden, says manager Sarina Wiegman.

Williamson suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in April 2023 and withdrew from February's friendlies with a hamstring issue.

There were fresh knee injury concerns during Arsenal's Continental Cup final win over Chelsea on Sunday.

"She is in a good place and is ready," said Wiegman.

"We needed to manage her a little bit. She had a full training session yesterday and will be on the pitch again today (Thursday)

"That is really good. She is still building but she is in a good place - if she comes through today, of course."

Asked whether Williamson will captain the side, Wiegman said: "If she plays, she's the captain. We just want to get through this training session and see how she is and how the team is."

There was a blow for Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating, who pulled out of the squad with a knee injury and has been replaced by Southampton's Kayla Rendell - her first senior call-up.

All 23 available players trained at St George's Park on Thursday and will travel to London to face Sweden at Wembley.

Defending champions England have been drawn in a qualifying group with two of the world's top six as they face France, Sweden and the Republic of Ireland, ranked third, sixth and 25th respectively.

The top two teams from the League A group will qualify automatically for next summer's tournament, with the other two sides entering the play-offs.