Fran Kirby reveals that she had an oxygen tent installed at her home

England and Chelsea star Fran Kirby reveals she had an oxygen tent installed at her home as she battled extreme fatigue and exhaustion in a bid to make Sarina Wiegman’s Euro 2022 squad

  • Fran Kirby was sidelined in the winter for an ‘indefinite period of time’ 
  • Extreme fatigue and exhaustion were noted as the reasons for her absence
  • The forward did not play for Chelsea again before the end of the campaign
  • The 28-year-old was diagnosed with a heart condition in 2019 that thretened her career 
  • Ellen White has been ruled out of Friday’s Euro 2022 warm up game with Covid

Fran Kirby revealed she had an oxygen tent put inside her house as the Chelsea star opened up on her health struggles and battle to be fit for the Women’s Euros.

It was announced in February that the forward would be sidelined for an ‘indefinite period of time’ due to extreme fatigue and exhaustion. Kirby did not play for the Blues before the end of the season but has convinced England boss Sarina Wiegman that she is fit enough for this summer’s tournament.

The 28-year-old, who was also diagnosed with a heart condition in 2019, admitted managing her health has been difficult due to uncertainty around treatments and solutions.

Fran Kirby announced in February that she would be taking an ‘indefinite’ break from the game

‘There was no specific answers on the tests where they could go “this is the illness,” it was extreme fatigue and extreme exhaustion,’ Kirby said.

‘There was talk about underperformance fatigue syndrome, so there were loads of things that were getting chucked out here and there.

‘It wasn’t like you have a brain scan and there’s something to show you’re dealing with a certain thing, so it was a lot of working with different phycologists to learn different ideas, working with different specialists in terms of nutrition and the recovery.

‘I got an oxygen tent put in my house, just learning different things that can help and for me it’s opened my eyes in terms of not just the recovery you may see, it’s the other aspects that go alongside it.

Owing to extreme exhaustion and fatigue, Fran Kirby did not play for Chelsea again last season

‘I have to say the club [Chelsea] and England were incredible. I was seeing a different specialist every day to pinpoint exactly what was going on and getting the oxygen tent getting to go to Barcelona to meet some of the best doctors in sport. It’s something that I can’t ever be more thankful for.

‘The doctor messaged me, Sean, when it got announced I was in the squad and he was like, “You deserve this, you’ve worked so hard to get to this point where you are” and I’m literally just like, “You’re congratulating me for getting selected and you’re the one that’s basically made this happen”.

‘So it’s really nice that I’m able to pay that back to everyone that supported me and wanted to wish me well as well. It’s not just the people who you’re surrounded with, it’s everyone. You see every message you see everyone wanting you to get better. So obviously a massive thank you and hopefully, I can get on the pitch and show why I’ve been selected and hopefully go and win a trophy.’

The forward managed to prove her fitness to England coach Sarina Wiegman who selected her

Wiegman has kept in contact with Kirby and the forward praised the Lionesses’ boss for her support.

‘She’s been really good. Obviously with my injury and illness history, it does take me a bit of time to recover from certain situations, or maybe there’s sessions where I can’t do the full session when we’ve had a game, or we have a busy week.

‘There’s been constant communication there and I feel like Sarina’s really taken it on board, and she’s really managed the load, not just of me but everyone in the room.

The Chelsea forward says that Sarina Wiegman has done well in managing her workload especially with her injury and illness history

‘I think previously in England camps, we’ve all felt that we’ve had to all do exactly the same thing all the time, but everyone’s body is different, everyone’s body reacts differently to different situations.

‘I think she’s been really honest, but also at the same time, when you’re working, you have to put the work in, and as long as you’re doing that, I think she’ll look after you and make sure that you’re in the best place going into the games.’

Meanwhile, Ellen White has temporarily withdrawn from England’s pre-Euro 2022 training camp after testing positive for Covid. She will miss Friday’s warm up game against Holland as she continues to be monitored for a return to the squad as soon as possible.  

Ellen White has been forced to temporarily withdraw from the England camp owing to Covid

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