Friday 30 March 2012
Aston Villa have announced that captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia.
The 32-year-old midfielder went for tests after developing a fever following Saturday's Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal.
"The Villa Board received news today that our long-standing captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia," read an Aston Villa statement on the club's official website.
"He will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion"
- Aston Villa statement
"Stiliyan developed a fever following the Arsenal game last Saturday and subsequently underwent tests conducted by Dr Ian McGuinness.
"Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis today [Friday].
"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."
Villa boss Alex McLeish said on Friday: "He's on a train right now to go and get more tests, after the viral condition last week when he had a temperature.
"This is the first day of his recovery"
- Alex McLeish
"He reported to the doctor on the bus on the way back from the game. The doctor told me [on Thursday] that we were still waiting on results.
"This is the first day of his recovery."
Villa Chairman Randy Lerner issued a statement of support for Petrov.
He said: "We are completely focused on Stiliyan and his family.
"As was said in our statement, Stiliyan is someone who is cherished by many people throughout football and every ounce of love and support that we have he will get from the club."
Chief Executive Paul Faulkner said: The club will focus its energy on supporting them all as he concentrates on simply getting better.
"He's a strong man who commands affection and respect throughout the Villa family."
Petrov has established himself as a key player for Villa since moving to the club from Scottish side Celtic in 2006, making 184 League appearances.
He has scored nine League goals in the process, with four coming this season against Everton, Sunderland, Bolton Wanderers and Chelsea.