Ali Krieger won't give up on London Games

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
2:01
AM ET

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Despite a gloomy prognosis that her recovery from a torn right ACL and MCL could take six to eight months, U.S. defender Ali Krieger said Sunday she hasn't given up on the 2012 London Olympics.

"I'm not going to give up, not going to lose hope," Krieger said after watching her teammates beat Guatemala 13-0 on Sunday at the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament. "People who have had this say everyone is different. Some people are back in four months, some people have gotten back in nine months, a year. But I'm going to stay hopeful and stay positive, and I'm pretty strong. I'm a fighter and I've been there before.

"I think I'm going to come back stronger than ever."

Krieger injured the knee in Friday's game against the Dominican Republic when an opponent collided with her plant leg. She said she knew it was bad, but didn't know it was that bad until the MRI came back Saturday.

"I didn't know it was my ACL," she said. "It didn't feel that bad, but I knew something obviously was wrong with that much pain."

Krieger said she will fly home to the D.C. area Monday and have surgery on the knee as soon as possible. "I'm going to get it done this week because I want to start that process started and try to get back. I'm still hopeful for the Olympics."

"I'm really sad for her," U.S. coach Pia Sundhage said. "She helped the team and she had a very good World Cup. That's tough for her, but at the end of the day, we can't do anything about it. The next step is to move on and find someone who can replace her. ... We need to look at it and find players to compete for that spot. But we have time, so I have no doubt in my mind. Maybe [the replacement] is already in squad, maybe she will be someone else coming in and fighting for the spot."

Krieger said her feelings have come in waves since the injury.

"It's been pretty emotional, pretty draining the past few days," she said. "This is the first time injuring my knee and it's pretty bad. Obviously, I want to be playing -- who doesn't? -- but I'm taking it pretty well. I'm staying positive and looking forward. I'm just taking one day at a time."

Jim Caple | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com

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