Wolverhampton Wanderers have announced that goalkeeper Carl Ikeme is to undergo treatment for acute leukaemia.
The 31-year-old will begin his course of chemotherapy immediately and will likely face a lengthy battle against the disease.
Ikeme’s condition was spotted when he returned “abnormal blood tests” during Wanderers’ pre-season testing earlier this week, which further medical tests discovered was due to the Nigeria international suffering from leukaemia.
Wolves managing director Laurie Dalrymple told the club’s official website: “It would be an understatement to say that everyone at Wolves has been shocked and saddened to hear the news of Carl’s diagnosis.
“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.”
Ikeme, who made 33 appearances in all competitions last season, has spent his entire career with the West Midlands outfit.