Chelsea's Pernille Harder faces long spell out after hamstring surgery

Chelsea midfielder Pernille Harder has undergone surgery for a hamstring injury suffered while on international duty with Denmark and is expected to be out for a "significant period," the Women's Super League (WSL) side said on Monday.

Harder, the UEFA Women's Player of the Year in 2018 and 2020, had surgery last Saturday after being reviewed by the Chelsea medical team on her return to Cobham training centre following Denmark's match against Switzerland.

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"It's never fun when those things happen but I'm ready to work hard and take on the challenge," Harder said on Instagram. "No matter how hard it is with the injury, I'll use it as an opportunity to come back in even better shape when I'm out on the other side.

"I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many talented people who I know will help me on the road back to recovery so I feel safe and very motivated."

Harder joined Chelsea from Wolfsburg in 2020 for a fee in excess of £250,000 -- then the world record transfer fee for women.

The record was broken when England's Keira Walsh joined Barcelona from Manchester City for a reported fee of £350,000 in September.

Chelsea are top of the WSL with 21 points from eight games, three points more than Arsenal and Manchester United who have both played one match less.