Tag Archives: condition

Eric Abidal to undergo liver transplant

Brave Barca defender Abidal to undergo liver transplant



13:33 GMT, 15 March 2012

Battle: Abidal will undergo a liver transplant

Battle: Abidal will undergo a liver transplant

Barcelona have announced that defender Eric Abidal will have a liver transplant in the coming weeks.

The France international was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2011.

And just two-and-a-half months after undergoing a three-hour operation to remove the tumour the left-back played the full 90 minutes in the Champions League final win over Manchester United at Wembley.

The club statement said: 'Given the development of his medical condition, Abidal will undergo a liver transplant in the following weeks.

'The transplant is an option that has been considered since the beginning of his treatment, one year ago.

'At the express wish of the player, the club requested the utmost respect for the right to privacy and confidentiality.'

Barcelona did not give any indication of for how long Abidal would be out of action.

He has started 20 Primera Division games this term, although he has not played since suffering a hip injury playing for France in their friendly win over Germany at the start of the month.

Brave: Abidal was diagnosed with cancer last year

Brave: Abidal was diagnosed with cancer last year

Abidal's Barcelona team-mate Gerard Pique backed the Frenchman to return stronger than ever.
He posted on his Twitter account: 'And you will return as always, still the best! You are an example for all! animoabidal.'

Abidal missed just seven weeks following his surgery last year, returning to the team for the end-of-season run-in with a number of substitute appearances, although his only start was in the Champions League final when he was given the honour of lifting the trophy.

The Catalan giants have 12 games left to play this season in the Primera Division and are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

He'll be back: Barca team-mate pique has taken to Twitter to lend his support

He'll be back: Barca team-mate pique has taken to Twitter to lend his support

Six Nations 2012: Stuart Hogg in the limelight

The Oval Office: Hogg in the limelight for French visit to Murrayfield

Scotland are determined to take on France at their own game on Sunday at Murrayfield. Full back Stuart Hogg, 19, has been given clear instructions by head coach Andy Robinson ahead of his first start.

‘I’ve spoken to Andy numerous times and asked him what he wants me to do,’ Hogg said. ‘He’s said I’ve got the freedom to roam and play. It’s massively exciting to be given that role.’

Free role: Stuart Hogg has been encouraged to play his own game by Andy Robinson

Free role: Stuart Hogg has been encouraged to play his own game by Andy Robinson

Why he’s the Best

It also turns out Hogg has a rather famous Northern Irish relative. Scotland’s latest star discovered he was related to George Best. A distant cousin contacted his father John after watching his debut against Wales. ‘My dad was in tears on the phone when he found the news. I’ve still got to research it fully, but it turns out my granny’s gran is a Best. It’s pretty amazing.’

Ireland lose coach

Ireland face the might of the Italian pack at the Aviva Stadium on Saturday without forwards coach Gert Smal, who will play no further role in the tournament because of an eye condition. Anthony Foley, assistant coach at Munster, has been drafted in. Head coach Declan Kidney said: ‘It’s an unfortunate situation but the prep work has been done so it won’t hinder us overtly.’

Absent: Ireland's forwards coach Gert Smal

Absent: Ireland's forwards coach Gert Smal

Sick joke: England assistant coach Andy Farrell

Sick joke: England assistant coach Andy Farrell

Shaun’s sick joke

Wales coach Shaun Edwards and Andy Farrell were league team-mates and Edwards recalled: ‘Andy came into the Wigan team at 17 and they put him in a room with our captain Dean Bell to ease his nerves. The morning of the match Dean was being sick in the toilet and Andy was saying to him, “Don’t worry – we’ll win this game no problem”.’

Pack protection

As the only player under 6ft in the Wales back line, Leigh Halfpenny is happy to be a man among giants. ‘It’s comforting to be around such a big back line,’ he said. ‘I’m a bit smaller, they can protect me. We have got some awesome ball-carriers and they have got plenty of skills as well.’ Let’s hope England don’t mistake him for a dwarf.


Italy coach Jacques Brunel has warned his side to beware Ireland’s greatest strength – the ability to slow down opposition ball. ‘They are the best at it,’ he said. ‘It’s their characteristic. They have the ability not just to get the ball back but also dictate the rhythm of the match. We must not submit to this pressure and instead turn it around in our favour.’

London Olympics 2012: Victoria Pendleton sees wheels come off the joy ride

Wheels come off the joy ride for cycling star Pendleton

British cycling star Victoria
Pendleton was condemned to World Cup defeat by bitter Australian rival
Anna Meares at London's Olympic Velodrome on Saturday.

Pendleton was left to compete for the
bronze medal in the women's sprint after the 28-year-old Aussie won
their much-anticipated semi-final.

Off the pace: Pendleton loses to rival Meares

Off the pace: Pendleton loses to rival Meares

While this will be perceived as a rehearsal for this summer's Olympics, Pendleton always insisted she would not be in peak condition for this World Cup meeting. Her intention has been to peak in August, when Olympic medals rather than pride will be on the line.

The first race in the best-ofthree showdown was run on the Australian's terms. She led from the start, set the pace and, with her eyes trained on Pendleton over one shoulder then the other, Meares always had control.

On lap two of the three-lap race, Pendleton rode higher up the banking on the back straight to gain momentum. Meares easily covered the move by increasing her pace.

As the Aussie began the last lap ahead, the crowd roared their support for reigning Olympic champion Pendleton, who had won the team sprint gold with Jess Varnish in a new world record 24 hours earlier. But this time they could not propel her to victory as Meares held on comfortably.

The drama was not over, however. Pendleton adopted a totally different approach in the second race, coming almost to a standstill at the top of the banking on the first lap.

Wait for it: Pendleton and Meares prepare to ride

Wait for it: Pendleton and Meares prepare to ride

World champion Meares held a line behind her before dashing into the lead and stretching it at the bell. But Pendleton counterattacked ferociously to cross the line half a wheel ahead.

Meares won a compelling decider. Pendleton's dislike for Meares can be traced to a race when, by the Australian's own admission, she deliberatel y rode into the Briton in Bordeaux.

Pendleton has never forgiven or forgotten the night more than five years ago.

This year they could dispute three Olympic golds. Each woman is an Olympic champion, each has multiple world titles and Pendleton is engaged to Australian Scott Gardner, who is an old friend of Meares from his days as a sports scientist with the Australian team. But Pendleton and Meares are intelligent, charming and humorous while unwilling to yield an inch.

Meares knew competing in London would give Pendleton a huge advantage.

'There is nothing like competing in front of a home crowd,' she said. 'With these helmets you can barely hear anything but, when I have competed in Manchester, there's always one voice that pierces the helmet and what you hear is, “Go home you Aussie!”'

She tells the story with a smile. The Aussie rivalry with the Poms in this London Olympic year will be more intense than ever.

'I totally expect I will cop some flak,' said Meares. 'It's been a great opportunity to get a ride on the track before the Olympics. I want to walk away with an image I can replay in my mind so I am not overwhelmed by it on the day.'

Sam Hutchinson makes incredible return at Chelsea

Hutchinson”s incredible return after “retirement” at Chelsea

Sam Hutchinson, the 22-year-old who announced his retirement just 18 months ago, will complete a remarkable comeback by securing a place in Chelsea”s Premier League squad on January 1.

The defender, who can operate at right back or centre half, thought his career was over in August 2010 owing to a degenerative condition in his right knee.


Sam”s the man: Hutchinson has been given a Chelsea squad number

But Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has given Hutchinson the No 27 shirt and will name him in his 25-man squad. He could be in contention to play when Chelsea travel to Wolves on January 2.

Villas-Boas is short of options in defence and named 17-year-old Nathaniel Chalobah in his squad to face Fulham on Boxing Day.

Right back Jose Bosingwa injured his hamstring in the 1-1 draw, Alex is transfer-listed and Branislav Ivanovic is not expected to return from a hamstring injury until Chelsea”s FA Cup third-round tie at home to Portsmouth on January 8.

Villas-Boas only has John Terry and David Luiz fit. Hutchinson will therefore return to the fringes of the first team after Jose Mourinho gave him his debut as a substitute in a 1-1 draw against Everton on May 13, 2007.

Florent Malouda, meanwhile, has insisted he will leave Chelsea if he does not feature more regularly. Malouda, 31, has started just four League games this season and has been linked with Carlo Ancelotti at Paris Saint-Germain.

The ex-Chelsea boss is expected to take over from Antoine Kombouare despite the club”s position at the top of Ligue 1. Malouda said: “I”m not getting enough playing time. If it is necessary, I will leave.”

Eusebio illness "not life-threatening"

Eusebio illness “not life-threatening” after Portugal legend rushed to hospital

The medical director of the hospital where Eusebio is being treated for bronchial pneumonia admitted he can not say when the Portugal legend is likely to be released.

The 69-year-old is in the care of doctors at the Hospital da Luz in Lisbon, but his condition is not thought to be life-threatening.

Superstar: Eusebio in action for Benfica against Arsenal

Superstar: Eusebio in action for Benfica against Arsenal

According to leading Portuguese sport website abola.pt, Eusebio is stable in intensive care.

His condition has been described by the hospital”s medical director Jose Roquete as “not serious but requires hospitalisation”.

On when he might be released, Roquete was quoted as saying: “It may take two, three, four, five, six days, we do not know.”

The head of the hospital”s intensive care Ja Joao Sa reportedly said Eusebio was taken to the unit for “better monitoring of his medical condition”.

Eusebio was also admitted to the Hospital da Luz in 2007 when he underwent a heart operation to prevent a possible stroke.

According to abola.pt, Joao Sa has confirmed there is no relationship between that episode and Eusebio”s current illness.

Eusebio”s form club Benfica were quick to offer their support to arguably the greatest player in the club”s history.

“Benfica wish a speedy recovery to the Black Panther,” read statement on Benfica”s official website, slbenfica.pt.

Portuguese heroes: Eusebio (right) with Cristiano Ronaldo

Portuguese heroes: Eusebio (right) with Cristiano Ronaldo

Eusebio played for nine clubs in a 22-year professional career but it was at Benfica where he forged his reputation as one of the game”s greats, turning out for the club 614 times between 1960 and 1975 and scoring an astonishing 638 goals.

During his time at Benfica Eusebio won 11 Portuguese league titles, five Portuguese Cup titles and the European Cup in 1962.

Despite being born in Mozambique, Eusebio was eligible to play only for Portugal as his homeland was a dependency of the European nation. He scored 41 goals in 64 international appearances between 1961 and 1973, and finished as the top scorer at the 1966 World Cup in England.

The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) also wished Eusebio – who has been employed as an ambassador for the national team – a quick return tohealth.

“On behalf of the Portuguese Football Federation we wish a speedy recovery to Eusebio and also to express that the whole Portuguese football family is behind him,” a statement read.

“Eusebio is a symbol of Portuguese football.

“It will take a lot of strength to overcome this difficulty, but he has honoured Portugal for many years with his distinguished presence, including as ambassador of the national team.”

Darren Fletcher fighting to save career over bowel illness

Illness puts Fletcher”s career in jeopardy as United midfielder forced to take break

Manchester United midfielder Darren Fletcher is facing a fight to save his career at the age of 27.

United announced that the Scotland captain had been forced to take an indefinite break from playing after succumbing to a debilitating bowel condition.

Fletcher missed a large chunk of last season with a so-called “virus” and then sat out much of pre-season when the problem resurfaced.

Out of action: Darren Fletcher will take a prolonged break from football due to serious health reasons

Out of action: Darren Fletcher will take a prolonged break from football

However, the Barclays Premier League champions have revealed that Fletcher has actually been suffering from aproblem known as “ulcerative colitis”.

It is considered unlikely that Fletcher will be back before next season, and there is now a large question mark over his career.

Whether the midfielder can return will depend on the severity of the condition. Olympic rower Sir Steve Redgrave won gold medals at five consecutive Olympics, despite being diagnosed in 1992, while England rugby star Lewis Moody also suffers from it.

Time out: Fletcher has taken a break from the game to improve his health and will be sorely missed by United boss Sir Alex (below)

Time out: Fletcher will try to improve his healthbut the Scotland midfielder will be sorely missed by Old Trafford boss Sir Alex Ferguson (below right)

Time out: Fletcher has taken a break from the game to improve his health

What is ulcerative colitis

According to the NHS, it is a chronic condition that affects the colon.

Symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, frequent need to go to the toilet and weight loss. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and can flare up and disappear for months or even years.

The condition causes the colon to become inflamed and in severe cases, ulcers can form on the lining of the colon.

At its most severe, the entire colon can become inflamed (known as pancolitis). This form of ulcerative colitis is particularly challenging to treat.

It is estimated that there are 10 new cases a year out of every 100,000 people. Around 100,000 people in England are affected, with people usually initially affected between the ages of 15 and 30.

One in five people have severe symptoms often respond less well to medication. In these cases,surgery may be required to remove the colon.

A United statement said: “On behalf of Darren Fletcher, Manchester United wishes to announce that he is taking an extended break from football for health reasons.

“Over the past year he has had several absence periods which we have attributed to a viral illness in order to respect his right to medical confidentiality.

“Darren has, in fact, been sufferingfrom ulcerative colitis (a chronic inflammatory bowel condition) for some time preceding this. While he was able to maintain remission of symptoms for a considerable period, this has proved more difficult recently and Darren”s continued desire to play, and his loyalty to both club and country, has probably compromised the chances of optimising his own health and fitness.

“He has therefore accepted medical advice to take an extended break from the demands of training and playing in order to afford the best chance possible of achieving full remission once again.”

The news was greeted with dismay by United followers and the football community as a whole. Not only is Fletcher considered an integral part of Sir Alex Ferguson”s first-choiceteam, he is also one of the club”s most popular players.

Fletcher”s domestic season didn”t begin until the September 18 victory against Chelsea and although he enjoyed a run after that he has not made an appearance since the November 22 Old Trafford draw with Benfica.

Last week he remained an unused substitute in Basle as United crashed out of the Champions League, and it is understood he has not been at the training ground since.

Team-mates Rio Ferdinand and Michael Owen expressed their support on Twitter, as did former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel.

Huge blow: Scotland will also feel Fletcher

Huge blow: Scotland will also feel Fletcher”s absence

What remains to be seen now is whether Ferguson goes back on his vow not to sign new players in January. Having lost captain Nemanja Vidic to a season-ending knee injury last week and already without a host of other injured players, Ferguson will be under pressure to prove that United do have cash for new recruits.

Fletcher”s condition can be managed in some cases by drugs, diet and lifestyle changes. In other instances, though, it can”t. Some of the drugs available to him may also figure on the banned substances list.

In his autobiography, rugby star Moody explained about the difficulties of living with a similar illness. He wrote: “The condition will never go away completely. I am resigned to taking a minimum of four tablets a day for the rest of my life. On bad days it is eight tablets.

Attempted comeback: Fletcher had already missed games due to the illness

Attempted comeback: Fletcher had already missed games due to the illness

“I have special permission under the laws of the game – a therapeutic use exemption – which allows me to take them.

“I watch my diet – no more curries, red meat (especially lamb), brown bread (surprisingly), caffeine… evenalcohol has to be taken in moderation. It is a life sentence.”

Fletcher does at least have some financial security. He was given a new four-year contract in March that takes him up to the summer of 2015, something that now seems odd given how long his struggle with this illness has clearly been going on.

Darren Fletcher: Factfile

1984: Born February 1 in Dalkeith, Scotland.

2000: Begins traineeship at Manchester United.

2001: February – signs first professional contract with United.

2003: March 12 – Makes United debut in 1-1 draw against Swiss side FC Basle in the Champions League.

August 20 – Makes Scotland debut as a substitute in the goalless friendly against Norway.

October 11 – Scores first Scotland goal in 1-0 Euro 2004 qualifier win over Lithuania, securing a play-off berth. The Scots later lose the play-off 6-1 on aggregate to Holland.

2004: May 22 – Starts as United beat Millwall 3-0 in the FA Cup final at the Millennium Stadium.

May 26 – Captains Scotland to a 1-0 win against Estonia in Tallinn, at the age of 20, becoming Scotland”s youngest captain for 118 years.

2005: January 1 – Scores first goal of his United career in 2-0 league victory at Middlesbrough.

November 6 – Fletcher”s headed goal proves enough for United to end Chelsea”s 40-match unbeaten league record, and comes in the wake of criticism aimed at the midfielder by Roy Keane in an interview which was never aired by MUTV.

2006: February 26 – Misses out on United matchday squad for League Cup final against Wigan. United win 4-0.

2007: May 6 – Wins first Premier League title with United, having made 40 appearances over the course of the season.

2008: October 3 – Signs a three-year extension to his contract with United, keeping him at the club until 2012.

October 7 – Named Scotland captain for the World Cup qualifier against Norway in the absence of Barry Ferguson and Stephen McManus.

2009: May 5 – Ruled out of the Champions League final after being sent off against Arsenal in the semi-final.

May 11 – Sees an appeal against the card dismissed by UEFA.

2011: March 6 – Plays against Liverpool after which he is ruled out with what the club describe as a virus which caused severe weight loss.

August 15 – Returns in a reserve match against Arsenal, after missing United”s pre-season tour of the United States to work on his fitness.

October 5 – Announces he is ruled out of Scotland”s Euro 2012 qualifier against Liechtenstein with tonsilitis.

October 7 – Makes late dash to Caduz and the following night plays in the 1-0 victory.

December 13 – Takes an extended break from football after being revealing he has been suffering from ulcerative colitis.