Cancer-hit Hartson 'getting stronger'

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The Independent Football

Critically-ill former soccer star John Hartson is getting stronger and has made an excellent recovery from a procedure carried out on his brain at the weekend, his doctor said today.

The 34-year-old former Arsenal and Celtic striker was told two weeks ago he had testicular cancer that had spread to his brain.

He was admitted to hospital in his home city of Swansea, south Wales, where he underwent emergency neurosurgery and it was discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs.

Since then he has remained critically ill in intensive care.

Dr Peter Matthews, critical care consultant at ABM University NHS Trust, said today: "John Hartson remains under the care of our critical care team and neurosurgeons at Morriston Hospital.

"Following previous emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, a pre-planned neurosurgical drainage procedure was performed at the weekend from which he has made an excellent recovery.

"In general, John is physically getting stronger and we are hopeful that he will continue to do so with the multidisciplinary care he is receiving on our critical care unit.

"We hope that he will be in a position to advance his cancer treatment (chemotherapy) as soon as possible."

A statement released by Hartson's family said: "John is getting excellent care from all the staff at the hospital and all the family are here to give John as much support as we can.

"We're delighted he's been able to make some progress but realise that he still has a long way to go.

"The support we are receiving from friends and people around the world is a fantastic lift to us all."

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