On the first day of Sky Blue FC’s off season, Monday, September 26, forward Tasha Kai underwent arthroscopic surgery on her left ankle. The surgery was to clean up her ankle after a series of “nagging” injuries suffered throughout the duration of the season.
In a statement released by the team Monday afternoon, it was said that no timetable for Kai’s recovery had been given. However, Kai’s instagram post from earlier in the day suggested that there may be an extended recovery period required, as she used the hashtag #longroadtorecovery in the post.
The post also suggested that this is just the first of a series of surgeries, as another hashtag, #decemberwillbemysecondsurgery, was also used on the post.
Kai, known for her physicality and daringness on the field, often did whatever was necessary to try to make a play for Sky Blue. As a result, the Hawaii native had a number of serious collisions and knocks this season, and it seemed almost every match saw Kai go down on the field with a minor injury. Despite the number of times Kai went down with injuries during matches, she played in all 20 matches for Sky Blue.
Kai, who came to Sky Blue FC as a free agent prior to the 2016 season, bookended the season with goals for the club. She scored the team’s first goal of the season in their season opener against the Seattle Reign FC and scored the team’s final goal in the season closer Sunday night against the Portland Thorns FC.
Kai’s four goals this season ranked her second in goals scored for Sky Blue, behind only Sam Kerr who had five.
Before signing with Sky Blue FC, Kai had been away from professional soccer for five years. Kai previously played for Sky Blue during its Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league days, including the 2009 championship-winning team.
Kai also previously played on the United States women’s national team, with which she won an Olympic gold medal in 2008. However, her time with the national team ended after Kai underwent shoulder surgery in 2009.
With Kai’s surgery so early in the off season, it seems as though the goal is to have her fully healed and recovered in time for the 2017 season.