Tottenham ace Percival out for rest of season following injury on international duty with New Zealand

TOTTENHAM confirmed Ria Percival is set for a lengthy spell out of action following her serious knee injury during New Zealand’s clash with Australia.

The Spurs midfield ace suffered the injury in the 15th minute of the Ferns' 2-1 loss to the Matildas on Friday.

Percival, 32, was helped off the field by team-mates Katie Bowen and Ali Riley after dropping to the turf and clutching her knee.

New Zealand head coach Jitka Klimova confirmed Percival sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage.

A statement on Tottenham’s web site says the midfielder will begin rehabilitation and will miss the remainder of their games this term.  

And her Spurs colleagues have been sending messages via social media to Percival who moved to the club from West Ham in 2019.

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The WSL ace played a crucial part in Rehanne Skinner's side's rise to fifth this term with the team building an impressive defensive record.

The Essex-born midfielder netted two goals and provided two assists in 17 top-flight appearances this term.

By mid-March her club had kept seven clean sheets in the top tier with Arsenal and Chelsea the only other sides maintaining more.

Ferns boss Klimkova, 47, admits Percival will be missed by New Zealand in the coming months as they prepare for the 2023 World Cup.

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The team fell to 2-1 and 3-1 friendly defeats to Australia on Friday and Monday with Sam Kerr and Hayley Raso target for the Matildas.

Klimkova told New Zealand news site Stuff: “Ria is so important for us, but we know she's going to work really hard to be back with us as soon as possible.

“I know she's going to be in good hands with Tottenham.”

New Zealand are due to face Norway in another friendly fixture on their schedule June

Their opponents latter boosted by the return of Ada Hegerberg ahead of their involvement in the Women’s Euros in June.

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