Super Eagles first choice goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has been diagnosed with acute leukemia his club has announced.
Ikeme who plays for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the English Championship was diagnosed of acute leukemia during pre-season testing.
The goalkeeper worked hard on his own during the holiday to recover from a hamstring injury he sustained in March 2017.
According to a statement from Wolves, the medical condition was diagnosed after the player returned some abnormal blood test during his pre-season testing.
“Further medical investigation has revealed he is suffering from leukaemia,” Wolves said in a statement.
The 31-year-old will immediately start a course of chemotherapy.
“It would be an understatement to say that everyone at Wolves has been shocked and saddened to hear the news of Carl’s diagnosis,” Wolves’ Managing Director Laurie Dalrymple is quoted to say in the club’s statement.
“That relates to both players and staff as Carl has been at the club for a very long time and remains such an integral personality within the group.
“At the same time, we all know what a fighter and a competitor Carl is, and I have no doubt that he will take all of those attributes into this battle.
“Similarly, its goes without saying that Carl and his family will receive the full love and support that we at Wolves can provide – we are all with him every single step of the way towards a full recovery.
“There are going to be some very tough times ahead, but he will receive the best possible care, aided and supported by our own club doctor and medical team, as he embarks on the lengthy process of treatment.
“We are speaking to Carl regularly, and sending him our very best wishes as he comes to terms with this news and starts his recovery.
“Carl and his family would request that their privacy be respected at this time, and any updates on his progress will be provided through the club.”
Acute leukemia is a type of cancer which attacks the white blood cells. It’s basically as cancer of the white blood cells.
Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with the same condition in March 2012. He suspended his football career to have treatment which was ultimately successful.
He announced his retirement from the game in May 2013, but returned to train with Aston Villa in 2016 although he was never offered a playing contract.
Return from injury
Carl in March 2017 pulled out of Super Eagles ahead of their 1-1 friendly game with Senegal with a hamstring injury which ruled him out of the rest of last season.
He made 33 appearances for the Wolves side last season.
The goalkeeper recently took to Instagram to give an update on his recovery from the injury.
“Back soon,” he wrote alongside a photo of himself in the gym.
He also missed Super Eagles friendly games against Corsica and Togo and the crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers against South Africa.
He was missed in the home game against South Africa which the Super Eagles shockingly lost 2-0.
“I was watching the game. Like you said, it’s our first competitive loss against them,” Carl said about the loss in a recent interview with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) website.
“There are still plenty of games to play to qualify for the Cup of Nations, so we are still confident that we will qualify.
In that interview, the goalkeeper was looking forward to being part of the Super Eagles squad for their 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Cameroon later in the year.
Carl received his first call-up in September 2015 ahead of 2017 AFCON clash against Tanzania.
He became the first-choice goalkeeper following the resignation of former captain Vincent Enyeama resigned after clashing with then coach Sunday Oliseh.