LONDON: Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, the Premier League club announced Friday.
Petrov’s illness was discovered in medical tests carried out on the 32-year-old Bulgarian international after he came down with a fever following last Saturday’s defeat at Arsenal, the club said.
“We expect to learn more about Stiliyan’s situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family,” the statement said.
“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.”
Petrov joined Aston Villa in 2006 after a seven-year spell at Celtic.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a former team-mate of Petrov, expressed his shock at the news of the midfielder’s condition.
“We are all absolutely devastated to hear this news. As a member of the Celtic family, it is important for Stiliyan to know that he has our unequivocal support in battling against this disease,” Lennon said in a statement.
“Knowing Stiliyan as I do, and the many obstacles he has overcome in his life to get to the peak of his career, he will overcome this one too.
“On behalf of the players and the backroom staff we send our support and best wishes to Stiliyan, Paulina and the family. We are there for them all and they will never walk alone.”