IFEOMA Dieke will miss the rest of Scotland's Euro 2013 qualifying campaign after rupturing her anterior cruciate knee ligament playing for Team GB against Cameroon.
The injury will keep the 31-year-old central defender out of football for up to nine months, which means she is ruled out of the remaining Group 4 matches against Wales and France. She will also be unavailable for the play-offs in October, should Scotland reach that stage.
Understandably, the normally ebullient Dieke was downcast following a visit to Ross Hall Hospital in Glasgow yesterday when she learned it will be at least three weeks before her right knee can be operated on.
Loading article content
"For this to destroy what has been the best footballing year of my life is hard to take," said the defender, who played in Team GB's opening two matches. "Everything had been going well with Scotland, my new club in Sweden [Vitsjjo] and then the Olympics. Missing the match against Brazil at Wembley on Tuesday night was a bitter pill to swallow because that's the team everybody wants to play against."
Instead, Dieke was forced to watch the 1-0 win on television at her home in Cumbernauld. "I was delighted for the girls, and having been with them for three weeks it was no shock to me that they beat Brazil," she said.
Team GB now play Canada in the quarter finals tomorrow, and Dieke will again watch from afar. "If we can get on the podium I'll be able to go back and rejoin them, which will be pleasing," she added.
The Vitsjjo player is also keeping her fingers crossed that Scotland qualify for the European Championships in Sweden. "If you know there's going to be something special at the end of it, it gives you the incentive to keep going," she said.