Bournemouth and Wales midfielder David Brooks has been diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin lymphoma, a rare form of cancer.
Brooks, 24, revealed the disease was detected by medics in the Wales camp. He said his prognosis was positive and that he hopes to be able to play for club and country soon.
“This is a very difficult message for me to write,” Brooks said in a statement. “I have been diagnosed with stage II Hodgkin lymphoma and will start treatment next week.
“While this has been a shock to me and my family, the prognosis is positive and I have no doubts that I will make a full recovery and return to gambling as soon as possible.”
Brooks have made nine appearances for Bournemouth this season, most recently in a 0-0 draw at Peterborough on September 29, helping Scott Parker’s side climb to the top of the league table. But it was on an international mission that cancer was discovered.
“I would like to show my appreciation to the doctors, nurses, consultants and staff who treated me for their professionalism, warmth and understanding during this time.
“I want to thank everyone at the Football Association of Wales because without the prompt attention of their medical team we may not have detected the disease. I would also like to thank AFC Bournemouth for all their support and help last week.
“While I appreciate the media’s attention and interest, I would like to request that my privacy be respected in the coming months and will share updates on my progress when I can.
“In the meantime, thank you all for their messages of support – it means so much and will continue to do so in the months to come. I look forward to seeing you all again and playing the sport I love very soon.”
Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, a network of vessels and glands that spread throughout the body.
According to the NHS website, the most common symptom of Hodgkin lymphoma is a painless swelling of a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpits or groin. Hodgkin lymphoma can develop at any age, but it mainly affects young adults in their early 20s and people over the age of 70.
Each year, around 2,100 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the UK.
Bournemouth said on Twitter: “We are all behind you Brooksy” with general manager Neill Blake vowing to support the midfielder every step of the way.
“Everyone at AFC Bournemouth will do everything possible to help support David and his family during his recovery,” he said. “We do not impose any deadline for his return; we will give David all the time he needs to recover and do all we can to help him.
“I know everyone will want to show their love and support for David, which will help him immensely during his recovery, but we also urge you all to respect his privacy and that of his family during this time.”