Canada head coach Bev Priestman says that West Ham United forward Adriana Leon has every chance of representing her nation at this summer’s Olympic Games.
The 28-year-old is currently sidelined after undergoing surgery on a fractured foot and she is unlikely to return until the final weeks of the Barclays FA Women’s Super League season.
Leon’s injury means that she will miss the latest Canadian international camp as they prepare to face Wales and England this month. Head coach Priestman says that Leon’s absence will not count against her and she will be taking the player’s previous performances into account when determining whether she should make the final Olympic Games squad.
“I had some really good conversations with Adriana post-SheBelieves,” said Priestman when speaking to FAWSL Full-Time in a Canada Soccer press conference. “That injury was present during SheBelieves and she played through which is a credit to her and I thought she did will in SheBelieves.
“The reality is that Adriana has a history in the programme and I’ve seen her play a lot, it’s not like a new face where you need to assess.
“Of course, it is about form and the now but there is a history there that I have seen what Adriana can do so that helps in the sense that we know what she can bring for Canada.”
With the clock ticking down for Tokyo 2020, Priestman went on to add that the biggest potential barrier will be Leon regaining her fitness in time, although she should be fine if her recovery plan remains on track.
Priestman added “I think that Adriana’s challenge now is recovering from that injury and putting in the work to achieve my challenge of coming back even fitter, stronger and working on different areas that you can when you have that sort of injury.
“I think there’s every chance that Adriana can be fit. There’s a commitment there from her, she is desperate to get to this Olympics.
“Hopefully, everything goes to plan and if it goes to plan, there is no reason why she shouldn’t be able to get herself fit and ready for an Olympics open for selection.
Canada take on Wales in their latest fixture in Cardiff on Friday before facing England in Stoke four days later.