Chelsea and Matildas superstar Sam Kerr has revealed she played a Champions League match last year while suffering from Covid-19 – and also faced the USA while battling gastroenteritis.
The stunning revelation comes as Kerr prepares for a massive Women’s Super League Cup final against Manchester City this weekend, where she will line up against Matildas’ teammates Alanna Kennedy and Hayley Raso.
Kerr exclusively told FoxSports.com.au that she tested positive in the days after last December’s final Champions League group stage match against Wolfsburg, but played while ill.
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“So I woke up on the morning of the game and I was ill at about 8 o’clock – I was just really ill. I’d reported that I wasn’t feeling well, but I didn’t really have Covid symptoms, I was just feeling quite sick. And then as the day went on, I started to feel even worse and worse.
“And then I was like, ‘I have Covid, guys. Like I just know I have it.’ I just felt a different way than I’ve ever felt.”
Kerr played the entire match – a 4-0 defeat to the German side that saw an (understandably distracted) Chelsea fail to progress from the group stage – and came close to scoring when she found the woodwork.
But on her return to England, Kerr soon discovered she had the virus.
“I tested negative for like five days (before the game) because we had some positives (but) I tested negative. Had to do a pre-departure test – negative. We weren’t testing on the day because you only need to test the day before the game. And when we got back from Germany, I got tested and I got the test back the next day and I was positive.”
Two other teammates had been unable to travel to Germany for the match after testing positive for Covid-19, while a number of Kerr’s other teammates, as well as her girlfriend – talented American player Kirstie Mewis – subsequently tested positive afterwards.
“You know, at the end of the day everyone only sees the 90 minutes,” she said. “And I appreciate it, I’m a fan too of football and when your favourite player or your team doesn’t play well, you get angry. And I think there’s been multiple times in my life where I’ve been unable to perform because I’ve felt uncomfortable, I felt tired and that’s part of sport. Like you have to get up every day and play your best even when you’re not feeling well … It’s really, really hard to stay at the top of your game all the time.”
Kerr added: “That’s just an example of that. You just have to keep going and it freaking sucks sometimes, like I spent Christmas in iso then so (it was) terrible.”
While Kerr was left ‘with a headache for a day and half, two days’, she says it was nothing like representing the Matildas while battling gastroenteritis – a stunning revelation she also made to Foxsports.com.au.
“I had the flu a month earlier and I had gastro while I was in (Matildas) camp. When we played the US I had gastro. That was way worse. Like, I’d take Covid over the gastro any day. And I had the flu two months earlier and I had high temperatures, I thought I had Covid that time, but no.”
Kerr started both of the Matildas’ matches against the world number one US women’s side in November – a 1-1 draw and a 3-0 defeat. She did not reveal which of the two matches, in front of record crowds in Sydney and Newcastle, she played while battling illness – though she trained away from the group the day before the first match.
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