Why didn’t Sam Kerr play for Chelsea in WSL opener?

Sam Kerr was a notable onlooker as four-time reigning Women’s Super League (WSL) champions Chelsea defeated Tottenham 2-1 in their season opener.

Matildas superstar Kerr was in the stands at Stamford Bridge, where Chelsea emerged triumphant thanks to debutant Mia Fishel and England star Lauren James on Sunday (Monday AEDT).

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Kerr was not in the squad after Chelsea boss Emma Hayes told reporters on Friday the Australia international captain was “a little behind” in her fitness having sustained an injury at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The A-Leagues legend was the talk of the World Cup on home soil, where the calf problem prevented her from featuring in the group phase before returning for the last 16 as the Matildas went on to sensationally reach the semi-finals.

She scored a stunning goal against England that earned her a nomination for The FIFA Puskas Award.

After Chelsea edged their London rivals Tottenham, Hayes confirmed Kerr will be available to face Manchester City on matchday two which means a reunion with fellow Matildas Mary Fowler and Alanna Kennedy.

Kerr scored 12 WSL goals last season as Chelsea clinched a fourth successive crown.