ASTON VILLA MIDFIELDER Stiliyan Petrov is suffering from acute leukemia, the club have said this afternoon.
Captain Petrov has made 33 appearances for the Midlanders this season and featured in the starting line-up as recently as the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal last weekend.
However, in a statement released today, Villa have confirmed the sad news.
“The Villa Board received news today that our long-standing captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with Acute Leukaemia.
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.
“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.”
The Bulgarian international, who has played 105 times for his country, was the domestic league’s most expensive export when he joined Celtic from CSKA Sofia for €4.5m and after seven seasons in Scotland, became Martin O’Neill’s first signing for Villa in 2006.