Bristol Rovers defender Nick Anderton has revealed he has been diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
The footballer made the devastating announcement, with his club pledging their support for the defender.
Here’s everything you need to know about the situation.
What did Nick Anderton say about his cancer diagnosis?
Anderton said: “Unfortunately, this rare form of cancer which is affecting my femur means that I’ll be undergoing an operation in the coming weeks.
“This diagnosis has come as a huge shock to both myself and my family; however, we are remaining positive and hopeful.”
“I want to thank everyone at Bristol Rovers, especially Club Doctor Ian Ferguson and Head of Medical Stuart Leake, the specialists at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and my family for their continued support.
“I want to wish the boys all the best for the upcoming season, starting this Saturday back at The Mem. Hopefully I can be swinging off another traffic light on Gloucester Road come May!”
Bristol Rovers CEO Tom Gorringe added: “Everyone at Bristol Rovers shares our sympathies for Nick at this difficult time and we will do everything possible to help support Nick and his family during his recovery.
“I am sure everyone will want to show their support for Nick, which will help him immensely as he recovers. I would also ask that everyone shows respect for his and his family’s privacy during this time.”
Who is Nick Anderton?
The 26-year-old has been with the squad since joining in the summer of 2021, helping the club to promotion from League Two as a key member of the promotion winning squad.
Priot to his time at Bristol Rovers, Nick had spells at Carlise United and Blackpool.
What is osteosarcoma?
The NHS website describes osteosarcoma as the most common type of bone cancer, which mostly affects children and young adults under 20.
Symptoms include bone and joint pain, swelling and lumps over joints.
The cause of the illness is not clear, but people may be more at risk of developing it if they have been exposed to radiation during radiotherapy, been diganosed with Paget’s disease, and if they have been diagnosed with Li-Fraumeni syndrome - a rare genetic condition.