Carli Lloyd suffered her knee injury during the preseason and has been in rehab. (Photo courtesy of Sky Blue FC)

Sky Blue FC midfielder Carli Lloyd will miss the 2020 NWSL Challenge Cup after suffering a minor injury to her left knee, the National Women’s Soccer League club announced Sunday.

The Delran, N.J. native and midfielder sustained the injury during the offseason and has been undergoing rehab since.

“It’s unfortunate that Carli has suffered this injury,” Sky Blue head coach Freya Coombe said in a statement. “We have been talking throughout the preseason and remained hopeful about her return. We’ll continue to support her throughout the recovery process. Right now, I’m excited about the opportunity that our younger players and new signings have to step up, and I have full confidence in this squad.”

Lloyd played for the 2015 and 2019 U.S. women’s national team, which captured Women’s World Cups both years.

“I have unfortunately picked up an injury while I was at home training,” she said. “I was optimistic about being able to return in time for the NWSL Challenge Cup, but my injury is going to require more time to recover. I am disappointed I will not be able to compete with my teammates, but I will be cheering them on! The NWSL Challenge Cup is going to be an exciting tournament and will allow all players to play games this season. I look forward to continuing my recovery, and I am excited to get back on the field when I am ready.”

Added general manager Alyse LaHue: “One thing we do know about Carli is that if she was physically able to get on the pitch, there’s nothing that would hold her back. This setback will require more time than we had hoped, but we are here to support her swift and safe return to playing again.”

Lloyd, 37, joined Sky Blue via a trade with the Houston Dash in 2018. Until now, she has played in every season of the NWSL. Lloyd scored eight goals and notched one assist in 14 appearances last season.