midfielder Fabrice Muamba posing for a photograph in the London Chest
Hospital yesterday. He had suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during
an FA Cup game at Tottenham two weeks ago.
LONDON: Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.
The 32-year-old Bulgaria
midfielder has not trained since playing against Arsenal last Saturday.
The condition was diagnosed after the player developed a fever following
the Premier League match.
'Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis
today. We expect to learn more about Stiliyan's situation in due
course,' the club said yesterday.
'During this time we ask that Stiliyan's privacy is placed ahead of all inquiries.
'He 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.'
Petrov's illness is the second major health problem to have affected a Premier League player this month.
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch during an FA Cup game at Tottenham two weeks ago.
Doctors revealed he was effectively dead for
78 minutes after his heart stopped beating while 15 defibrillator shocks
were required to resuscitate him.
But yesterday, Muamba's fiancee Shauna Magunda
posted his picture after a remarkable recovery, adding: 'Fab wanted me
to post this pic for you all and to also say thank you for such
Now it is Petrov - who has been at Villa since
signing from Celtic in 2006 and made 33 appearances for the club this
season, scoring eight goals - who needs support.
Darren Bent, his Villa teammate, tweeted:
'Really sad news to hear about our captain Petrov. Hopefully he'll be
back fighting fit soon. Thoughts are with him and his family.'
Shay Given, the Villa goalkeeper, added: 'In
shock... but we are all here for him and his family. Please God he makes
a full recovery.'