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Kirby returns to England after eight-month absence

Fran Kirby England Fran Kirby - Getty Images

Fran Kirby is back in the England squad.

The Chelsea midfielder was one of 25 players named to Sarina Wiegman's Lionesses team for upcoming Nations League matches against Belgium.

Kirby, 26, missed out on the World Cup with a knee injury and just returned to action on the weekend in the Blues' 2-0 win over West Ham.

Arsenal forward Beth Mead, who also missed the World Cup with a torn ACL, was not named to the squad despite also returning to game action this past weekend.

Midfielder Grace Clinton, on loan with Tottenham Hotspur from Manchester United, and 19-year-old Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating were called up for the first time.

The Lionesses host Belgium at Leicester City's King Power Stadium on Oct. 27 before the two teams play a return fixture in Leuven on Oct. 31.


GK - Mary Earps (Manchester United), Hannah Hampton (Chelsea), Khiara Keating (Manchester City) and Ellie Roebuck (Manchester City)

DF - Millie Bright (Chelsea), Lucy Bronze (Barcelona), Jess Carter (Chelsea), Niamh Charles (Chelsea), Alex Greenwood (Manchester City), Maya Le Tissier (Manchester United), Esme Morgan (Manchester City), Lucy Parker (Aston Villa) and Lotte Wubben-Moy (Arsenal)

MF - Grace Clinton (Tottenham Hotspur), Fran Kirby (Chelsea), Georgia Stanway (Bayern Munich), Ella Toone (Manchester United), Keira Walsh (Manchester City) and Katie Zelem (Manchester United)

FW - Rachel Daly (Aston Villa), Lauren Hemp (Manchester City), Lauren James (Chelsea), Chloe Kelly (Manchester City), Jess Park (Manchester City) and Alessia Russo (Arsenal)