Aston Villa captain and Bulgarian international Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukemia and is expected to miss the rest of the season and begin immediate treatment. Petrov, who got his start playing for CSKA Sofia in the late 1990’s is a beloved fixture at Aston Villa, and serves as the anchor to the midfield of the side. Prior to his time at Villa, Petrov played for Celtic for several seasons winning the League Cup, and becoming the first foreign-born player to SPFA Player of the year award. After initially suffering from homesickness in Scotland, he managed to learn English on the side by working at a local burger van and its that same hard work and determination in a pair of soccer shoes that has endeared him to both Celtic and Villa supporters.
Petrov has featured in 29 appearances for Villa this year, and played in the clubs Saturday 3-0 defeat to Arsenal. Following the match, he told club doctors he felt ill, and developed a high fever. At that point he was sent for blood tests and hematologists have confirmed the diagnosis.
“Stiliyan developed a fever following the Arsenal game last Saturday and subsequently underwent tests. Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis today.
“We expect to learn more about Stiliyan’s situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family. During this time we ask that Stiliyan’s privacy is placed ahead of all inquiries and trust that we will share information as we receive it.
“Stiliyan is cherished by many and he will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion.”
The diagnoses of acute leukemia is undoubtedly serious, but there is no official word from the club doctors on what form of the blood disease Petrov is suffering from. Many types of acute leukemia are treatable with the proper medical care and medications, and hopefully Petrov will be back playing again soon, but for the time being we’ll keep him in our thoughts and wish him well.
Written by: Matthew Wall, editor, soccerprose.com
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