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A third devastating knee injury derails Kara Lang's soccer comeback bid

Canada's Kara Lang, of Oakville, Ont., sits on the bench as her teammates warm up before a women's international friendly soccer game against Mexico in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday November 24, 2013. Lang's brave bid to return to Canada's women's soccer team is over.The 27-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has suffered a third devastating knee injury, ending an attempted comeback she started nearly a year ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

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Canada's Kara Lang, of Oakville, Ont., sits on the bench as her teammates warm up before a women's international friendly soccer game against Mexico in Vancouver, B.C., on Sunday November 24, 2013. Lang's brave bid to return to Canada's women's soccer team is over.The 27-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has suffered a third devastating knee injury, ending an attempted comeback she started nearly a year ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Kara Lang's brave bid to return to Canada's women's soccer team is over.

The 27-year-old from Oakville, Ont., has suffered a third devastating knee injury, ending an attempted comeback she started nearly a year ago.

Lang tweeted the news early Thursday morning.

"2 days after being cleared to train w/ #CanWNT my knee literally exploded yesterday. I've torn just about everything you can in a knee," Lang wrote.

The former national team star striker launched a comeback last March nearly two years after two torn ACLs forced her to walk away from the game at the age of 24, tearfully announcing her retirement at a news conference in Oakville.

She put her broadcasting career on hold last March in hopes of returning to the game, and then spent three weeks out of every month in Montreal training with athletic therapists, in a total "rebuild" — a tedious breaking down-building up process meant to prevent her from reinjuring her knee. She joined the women's residency program in Vancouver in the fall.

"Thank U to everyone who's been there for me along this crazy trip. Staying positive b/c I have the best support system anyone could ask for," Lang tweeted Thursday.

The five-foot-eight striker, known for her booming shot, scored 34 goals in 92 games, and played in two World Cups — in 2003 and 2007 — as well as the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

"It's just kind of one of those things where I have to try it," Lang told The Canadian Press last summer. "Nothing is guaranteed when you really look at it. I just need to know that I tried."

Having Lang back in the lineup would have been a big boost for Canada's World Cup campaign, and great news to the fans who've followed the five-foot-eight striker since she was part of Canada's silver-medal performance at the FIFA U-19 world championships in Edmonton in 2002.

Lang, who was 15 at that tournament, scored three goals in six games.

She's also the youngest player to be named to the national senior side, making her debut at 15 in March of 2002.

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