Michael Appleton is to take a break from duties as he recovers from scheduled surgery to remove a cancerous tumour.
The Imps boss is set to have surgery this Wednesday, with a minimum ten-day recovery period set to follow. Chief Executive Liam Scully stressed that Michael will not be rushed back and that things will progress in his absence.
“It goes without saying that the most important thing is Michael’s health, and we’ll provide whatever support we can. Football is our secondary concern at times like this,” said Liam. “He will want to be back as soon as possible but I wish to be clear that he will be given as much time off as he needs and we absolutely do not want to see him back until he is ready.
“Plans for the new season are well underway, Michael has driven them and they’ll continue on track. We are all looking forward to the new season and are right behind Michael, on and off the pitch.”
As for Michael, he has also released a statement to Imps fans, who will doubtless be shocked and upset to hear he is suffering from testicular cancer.
“I hope you’re all looking forward to the new season as much as I am. We’ve enjoyed being back training at the Elite Performance Centre and there is a real belief and determination that we can build on last season. Preparations are well underway, and we’ve had two good runouts at Reading at Nottingham Forest. Don’t read anything into the scorelines, as they were really about building the players up towards match fitness after working them hard in training.
“Our new arrivals Chris Maguire and Lewis Fiorini have really added to the squad. I know Chris well having worked with him before, and he will bring good experience and know-how for us – and will be a great example for our younger players to follow. Lewis is really good signing for us with a wide range of passing in his armoury, and we’re confident of getting some other quality additions signed up soon.”
Ever the professional, Michael highlighted where the club is at before announcing his own news.
“Although things are going well on and off the pitch at the club, I do have some news to share with you which means you’ll see and hear a bit less from me over the next couple of weeks. A few weeks ago I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and will have the tumour removed this week. There are some quite scary words in that sentence, but this is quite a routine operation and the indications are that I should be back up and on my feet in no time.
“I do need to take a bit of a break, though, and after the surgery will be taking a couple of weeks to recover. This means I won’t be in the dugout for some of our pre-season games, but will be liaising closely with the coaching team as we continue preparations for the campaign.”
He finished by confirming the club’s transfer plans would not be affected, and that he would be in touch with Jez and Liam, as well as keeping an eye on preparations.
“Our transfer plans are all on track and won’t be affected – modern technology means there won’t be any escape from me for my colleagues and I’ll be able to watch videos from the games. I will remain in close contact with Liam Scully and Jez George, and I’m looking forward to a bit of remote working to see what the fuss is all about!
“I’m not the sort of person who goes into much detail about these things, but I wanted to make sure you were all aware so you knew why I have to sit out a few games. There’s loads of advice out there about the early signs of cancer and what to look out for – if you have a lump or any other change please do get it checked out by a GP.”
Indeed, Michael is not the sort of person I would imagine goes into detail about personal things, and although the operation is routine it will still be a worrying time for him, Jess and the rest of his family. Obviously, it goes without saying that I wish him all the best for Wednesday and can’t wait to see him back in the dugout as soon as he is able.
If you are concerned about testicular cancer or don’t feel you understand what to look for and how often to check, then this is as good a point as any to have an open discussion. Personally, I check at least once a month, which is the recommended self-test routine for any male.
There are some signs that you might have a problem that can be found without checking, those symptoms are listed here. However, as with any form of cancer, catching it early is key to making treatment relatively routine, like Michael’s operation. This article will explain how you should check, and what you should be looking out for.