KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Women’s World Cup continues, but several star soccer players are missing due to ACL injuries. It’s now top of mind for athletes at home, especially women.

An orthopedic sports medicine Surgeon has tips on how to avoid a possible career ending injury. Dr. Christopher Shaw, with University Health, said women are at a higher risk to tear their ACL.

At just 18 years old, Hannah Henderson knows the feeling of a torn ACL all too well.

This soccer star has had it happen four times. Three on the right, one of the left. She has the knee braces and scars to prove it.

“It’s really hard,” Hannah Henderson said. “Sometimes watching all your friends move on and play soccer and get those college experiences is really hard to watch.”

A paper published in the Journal of Orthopedics and Orthopedic Surgery showed, one in 19 women soccer players tear an ACL.

It also said women face a 2-to-10-times increased risk of tearing an ACL.

In the 2023 Women’s World Cup, reports show seven women were forced to sit on the sidelines because of ACLE injuries — two of them American.

“Women do tend to be at a higher risk for ACL injury for a number of reasons,” Shaw said. “Anatomic reasons as well as neuromuscular reasons, even hormonal reasons at times.”

FOX4 asked Shaw what women can do to avoid tearing an ACL.

“Importantly, women tend to be stronger in their quad muscle than their hamstring muscle and the hamstring muscle can protect the ACL,” Shaw said, “and so if we can train their core and train their hamstrings and make them as strong as possible, it can minimize, even if it doesn’t alleviate the risk.”

Shaw said most ACL injuries tend to be non-contact — meaning they didn’t get hit by another player. They were trying to either change direction or slow down.

That’s how Henderson’s ACL tore back in April.

After Surgery with Shaw in May, Henderson has been in physical therapy.

“Leg day is every day for me, but also rest time,” Henderson said.

Now, she’s running again — heading to Benedictine College on a Scholarship to play soccer.

“You have to be determined and want to get healthy again or else it won’t happen because the physical therapist can give you as many exercises as they want to, but if you’re not going to do it, then you’re not going to get better. So, I always try to say everything happens for a reason, but it’s like what are you going to do about it.”

The Women’s U.S. National Soccer team plays Sunday at 4 a.m. If you’re an early riser, you can watch it right here on FOX4.