Football Ferns recall Rebekah Stott 12 months after cancer diagnosis

New Zealand defender Rebekah Stott will return to the squad less than a year after battling stage 3 Hodgkin lymphoma, a type of cancer, the team announced on Tuesday.

Former Brighton & Hove Albion player Stott said in March 2021 she would need to go through four months of chemotherapy after being diagnosed with the condition.

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The 28-year-old was included in head coach Jitka Klimkova's 23-player squad for the four-team SheBelieves Cup which will be played from Feb. 17-23 in the United States.

"Stotty's situation is very unique -- very few players have gone through what she has and returned to international football," coach Klimkova said in a statement.

Stott, who has earned 81 caps for the Football Ferns, returned to play for A-League Women's club Melbourne City this season following her treatment.

"She is a fighter. We all hoped and believed that she would come back, and watching her performances each week for Melbourne City has shown what a role model she is," Klimkova added.