By April 30, 2013 1 Comments Read More →

EPL Injury Report: Petrov Reminds That Some Things Are Bigger Than Football

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Each week in the EPL Injury Report we look at ailments that keep players out of matches. We see hamstring strains, ankle sprains, and calf injuries on a weekly basis and even see the unfortunate occurrence of more serious injuries such as ACL tears and broken bones. However, while these injuries are detrimental to teams, league standings, and can often win or lose titles, sometimes there are ailments much more serious that can not only end careers, but can end lives. In this week’s EPL Injury Report we look a story bigger than football in journey of Aston Villa midfielder Stiliyan Petrov, who was diagnosed with leukemia in March of 2012 and recently completed his first year of chemotherapy treatment with great success.

villaPetrov, a 33-year-old Bulgarian, has played in over 200 matches for Aston Villa since joining the team in 2006 and has become not only a great player, but also a fan favorite. Since being diagnosed with a disease that often kills quickly, Petrov has shown strength and courage through his fight and Villa fans have been right behind him every step of the way. In each match of this season, the fans have paid their respects to Petrov by applauding throughout the entire 19th minute (Petrov wears number 19). The Bulgarian told the Villa website in an interview in mid April, “The support from all the fans, the club, the players, has been amazing. The 19th minute has been just incredible. It’s them showing their appreciation and their support.”

When he was first diagnosed with the disease, Petrov said he was “shocked,” but didn’t know the severity of the treatment that he would soon undergo. “It’s a long treatment,” he said, “I didn’t know how long it would go on for, what would happen and things like that. While the treatment was going on I was surprised at how long things were dragging on. It kept dragging and I kept thinking ‘when is this going to finish?’ but with a lot of patience and a lot of support from family and friends and everybody I managed to pull through.”

As a professional athlete at the highest level, the Bulgarian used the same aspects of his training to overcome the obstacles of such harsh treatment. Mental toughness, patience, and discipline were key reasons why Petrov was able to triumph over the often devastating treatments and why he is standing today as a new man. “I had my hard moments,” Petrov said, “But I had good moments as well. I can say I’m lucky because some people with this disease die very quickly and I managed to keep battling and still be here, still standing.”

After 12 months of rough chemotherapy treatments, Petrov’s leukemia is in remission and he will now begin another, less debilitating, form of chemotherapy that will allow him in his own words, “Concentrate on getting back to my life.”

Petrov told the Villa website that what he is most looking forward to is spending more time with his family, especially his kids, saying, “I’m going to spend some time with the family, show them that things are back to normal, and feel a bit more comfortable. The kids especially have really missed me a lot and they’re happy that I‘m home.”

As for his team, Aston Villa sits in 16th place with 37 points and is five points clear of Wigan Athletic and the relegation zone. The Villans have three matches remaining in the season including one against Wigan, and are not safe as of yet, but things look promising.

While his team has struggled this season on the pitch, Stiliyan Petrov has been an inspiration to not just his club, but to everybody who has followed his story. Through perseverance and support, Petrov has come out on top of one of the world’s most debilitating diseases and has shown fellow players and fans that at the end of the day, we are all human beings, and some things in life are bigger than football.

Full EPL Injury Report

 

Courtesy of Physio Room

Player/Injury/Expected Return

Manchester United

Darren Fletcher/Chronic Bowel Syndrome/Unknown

Ashley Young/Ankle/Unknown

Paul Scholes/Knee/Unknown

Nemanja Vidic/Knock/Unknown

Danny Welbeck/Knee/Unknown

 

Arsenal

Fabianski/Rib/Unknown

V. Diaby/ACL/Unknown

Miyaichi/Ankle/May 14th

 

Manchester City

Joe Hart/Back/Unknown

 

Tottenham

William Gallas/Calf/April 27th

S. Ranieri/ACL/October 13th

Younes Kaboul/Knee/Unknown

Moussa Dembele/Hamstring/Unknown

 

Newcastle

D. Santon/Hip/Unknown

H. Vuckic/ACL/May 16th

Ryan Taylor/ACL/Unknown

Fabricio Coloccini/Back/Unknown

Tim Krul/Dislocated Shoulder/Unknown

S. Marveaux/Groin/Unknown

 

Chelsea

Ramires/Hamstring/Unknown

Romeu/ACL/June 9th

 

Everton

Victor Anichebe/Hamstring/Unknown

Phil Jagielka/Ankle/Unknown

Darren Gibson/Hip/Unknown

 

 

 

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