Norwich City goalkeeper Dan Barden has been diagnosed with testicular cancer.
The 20-year-old is currently on loan at cinch Premiership side Livingston but will be taking a break from football.
“It has been a very difficult and challenging period, but the support of my family, friends and colleagues has helped get me through the last few weeks,” Barden told Norwich’s official club website.
He will be closely monitored on a treatment programme after undergoing follow up tests following the initial diagnosis.
“I can’t thank the medical departments at both Norwich and Livingston enough, as well as everyone at the Royal Marsden Hospital,” the goalkeeper added.
“The speed at which everything has moved has been crazy, but everyone has been absolutely brilliant with me. Both Daniel Farke and the Livingston manager, David Martindale, have also been very supportive.
“The initial diagnosis was a real shock for me, but the positive thing is that we’ve caught it early and the prognosis and next steps have all been positive.
“I’m optimistic and have a positive mindset. I’m confident that I’ll be able to beat it and that I’ll be back out there doing what I love soon.
“I’d like to thank everyone around me for their support. I know that the coming period will be challenging and would ask for privacy for me and my family at this stage. Where possible, I’ll do what I can to update on my progress.”
Canaries sporting director Stuart Webber said: “Everyone at Norwich City wishes Dan a speedy recovery. Our love and thoughts are with him and his family as he starts this latest challenge in his life.
“Dan is part of our family and we look out for our own. He knows we are with him every step of the way.
“The care and attention Dan has had so far has been top class. We thank everyone who has looked out for him and we are grateful for Livingston for acting on Dan’s symptoms and alerting us.
“We can’t wait to welcome Dan back to Carrow Road and the Lotus Training Centre.”