Matildas stalwart Elise Kellond-Knight faces the agony of missing her home World Cup after rupturing an Achilles tendon in training with club Melbourne Victory.
The 32-year-old suffered the injury on Friday, and will require surgery.
Victory have ruled her out of the rest of the A-League Women's season, and the severity of the injury would suggest Kellond-Knight will also miss the Women's World Cup, which kicks off in July.
"We are all heartbroken and completely devastated for Elise with this latest injury news," Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson said.
"KK is one of the strongest and most resilient people and players I have coached, and our team, our staff and Football Australia as an organisation will surround her with strong care and backing during a difficult time."
Even if Kellond-Knight was able to recover from the injury ahead of the World Cup, she would have no ability to show her fitness in club football, with the A-League Women campaign to conclude next month. The injury is all the more devastating given Kellond-Knight's injury history.
An ACL tear in 2020 kept her out of the game for two years, before she returned to action last August with the hope of playing at a fourth World Cup.
Kellond-Knight, a creative yet steely central midfielder, was selected in the all-star teams at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups.
Melbourne Victory football director John Didulica said Kellond-Knight was "one of the most incredible people and professionals in the game" and despite her injury -- could still play a role for club and country.
"Have no doubt, her experience can support both our A-League Women's team as we head towards the finals series and the Matildas as they chase history."
Since making her Matildas debut in 2007, Kellond-Knight has tallied 113 caps, scoring two goals.
Her most famous strike in national team colours was her "Olimpico" goal direct from a corner at the 2019 World Cup in Australia's round-of-16 exit to Norway.