Tottenham Hotspur Women confirmed this morning that midfielder Olga Ahtinen damaged her Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) in Sunday’s game against Liverpool. The standout midfielder will not require surgery, and will likely return to training in January.
Olga Ahtinen–along with compatriot Eveliina Summanen–has revolutionized Spurs’ midfield since her arrival in the summer. Spurs fans feared the worst when they saw Olga stay down after a freak collision with Liverpool’s Yana Daniëls. While it’s excellent news that Olga’s ACL lives to fight another day, she will require a period of off-field rehab to address the MCL injury she sustained.
Olga’s excellent work on and off the ball has been critical to Spurs Women’s improved performance this season. Any layoff is not great news, and will leave Robert Vilahamn with a major problem to solve. But an MCL injury is far from disastrous for Ahtinen personally–it gets much more blood flow than the rest of the knee, and is much less likely to have long term impacts.
Hopefully, everything goes according to plan and Olga returns to the grass in early January. In the meantime, we could see Ria Percival or Angharad James step into her roll, or even Asmita Ale, who played the dying seconds of the game out of position in center midfield. Let’s hope that whoever it is steps up to fill Olga’s shoes.