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Bristol Rovers defender Nick Anderton is set for a spell of chemotherapy as the next step in his treatment for a rare form of blood cancer.
The 26-year-old was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, which required an operation where a part of the bone was removed.
Rovers confirmed on Wednesday the results of further analysis to the biopsy taken during the surgery in October had revealed cancerous cells were more aggressive than previously thought.
Left-back Anderton, who joined the Gas in 2021, will require chemotherapy over several months.
Rovers chief executive Tom Gorringe said: “As a club, we are extremely close so, when we hear news like we have received with Nick, it affects everyone.
“Sadly, the prognosis Nick has received has developed over the past few months, but we are all incredibly thankful that it was uncovered as early as it was and that he has been afforded such great care and support early on.
“Nick remains an integral part of our squad and everyone has remained in constant contact with him to offer our support and to do what we can to try and help him and his family through this difficult time.”
Gorringe said on the club website: “Nick’s response and positivity, despite the adversity he is currently facing, is admirable and he is an inspiration to us all.
“I have no doubt that he will tackle his chemotherapy like he has the various hurdles that have been placed in front of him already and we look forward to welcoming him back to The Mem once his course has finished.”
Anderton, who last played for Rovers in April, said: “I would like to thank my family, friends, fans, team-mates and the whole football community for their support – it means the world to me.”
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