WALES star David Brooks has blood cancer.
The Bournemouth midfielder, 24, has been diagnosed with stage two Hodgkin Lymphoma, but has vowed to make a full recovery.
David Brooks joined Bournemouth in 2018[/caption]
Brooks underwent tests after complaining of fatigue while training with his country last Tuesday before pulling out of the squad for the World Cup qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Estonia.
And he praised the Wales medical team’s swift action which led to the quick detection of the illness.
Brooks revealed: “This is a very difficult message for me to write.
“I have been diagnosed with Stage II Hodgkin Lymphoma and will begin a course of treatment next week.
“Although this has come as a shock to myself and my family, the prognosis is a positive one and I am confident I will make a full recovery and be back playing as soon as possible.
“I’d like to show my appreciation to the doctors, nurses, consultants and staff who have been treating me for their professionalism, warmth and understanding during this period.
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“I want to thank everyone at the Football Association of Wales, because without the swift attention of their medical team we may not have detected the illness.
“I’d also like to say thank you to Bournemouth for all their support and assistance this past week.
“Although I appreciate that there will be media attention and interest, I would like to ask that my privacy is respected in the coming months and I will share updates on my progress when I am able to do so.
“In the meantime, thank you to everyone for their messages of support – it means so much and will continue to do so in the months ahead.
“I look forward to seeing you all again and playing the sport I love very soon.”
Brooks initially joined up with the Wales squad for the recent international double header.
But, after he was pulled out of the training session warm-up, he was sent for tests by the Welsh FA medical staff.
Last Wednesday he was officially withdrawn from Robert Page’s squad and, after two rounds of tests, Brooks was given the results over the weekend.
WHAT IS HODGKIN LYMPHOMA
The Sun's head of health Lizzie Parry explains…
Hodgkin lymphoma is a rare cancer that affects the lymphatic system – which is part of the immune system.
It’s a network of vessels and glands that carries infection-fighting white blood cells.
When a person has Hodgkin lymphoma, these blood cells multiply in an abnormal way and collect in parts of the lymphatic system, losing their infection-fighting skills, and making you more susceptible to infections.
The most common symptom is a painless swelling in a lymph node, usually in the neck, armpit or groin.
The disease can strike at any age, but mostly affects people in their early 20s, and those over 70. Men are slightly more likely to be diagnosed, and around 2,100 people are diagnosed each year.
While it’s an aggressive cancer, it is one of easiest cancers to treat, if it’s caught early.
Around 85 per cent of patients will live five years or more, and most will be cured.
Messages of support flooded in yesterday for Brooks, who joined Championship club Bournemouth from Sheffield United in 2018 for £11.5million and was part of the Wales squad at Euro 2020.
He was named Wales Footballer of the Year in 2019 and even linked with £40million moves to Tottenham and Manchester United that summer.
Ex-Wales international striker John Hartson – who was himself diagnosed with cancer in July 2009 – tweeted: “Wishing David Brooks the very best.
“His family and closest friends will give him all the support he needs. Stay strong and positive young Brooksy.”
Bournemouth chief executive Neill Blake said: “Everyone here will do everything possible to help support David and his family during his recovery.
“We’re not putting any timescales on his return; we will give David all the time he needs to get well and will do everything we possibly can to help with that.”
Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, who has managed Brooks with Wales, said: “I’m sorry to hear the news. Thankfully the illness has been detected early and I’m hopeful and confident of a full recovery.
“I’m sure everybody in football will send him their wishes in his fight against the illness and hopefully see his amazing talent once again on a football pitch.”
Brooks has been capped 21 times by Wales[/caption]