Soccer-Arsenal's Aubameyang slowly returning to full fitness after malaria

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Newcastle United v Arsenal - St James' Park, Newcastle, Britain - May 2, 2021 Arsenal's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the warm up before the match Pool via REUTERS/Lindsey Parnaby

(Reuters) - Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang said that his family was worried by his sudden weight loss after he contracted malaria in March, and that he was slowly returning to full physical fitness.

Aubameyang was sidelined for four games after getting malaria while on international duty with Gabon and spent time in a hospital last month before returning in the team's 2-1 defeat by Villarreal in the Europa League semi-final first leg.

"I was feeling just normal, a bit down - I thought that it was the travel," Aubameyang told reporters ahead of the return leg later on Thursday. "Gabon isn't so close to here. I felt tired, especially against Liverpool, but I thought it was because of the travel... I had three days in a row, fever, all day and night. After that, I spoke to the doctor."

After that, he checked into a hospital, where he was treated for three days and lost 4kg.

"It was a bad moment and my family was a bit scared to see me like this," he said. "I'm lucky I got treatment at the right moment; if you don't treat it quickly it can lead to big problems."

Aubameyang scored in his first start since recovering from the illness in Sunday's 2-0 Premier League win over Newcastle United and said he was looking forward to the Villarreal game.

"In my mind, I feel more than 100% but physically maybe I'm not. Hopefully my body will respond as well but definitely in my mind I'm ready," said Aubameyang, who missed three games this season when his mother was ill.

"It's been a bad year, hopefully next year will be different," he said.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3

Next In Football

Soccer-Spain point finger at La Cartuja pitch after Sweden stalemate
Soccer-Turkey hoping for 'home' advantage against Welsh
Soccer-Austria's Alaba role unclear after man-of-the-match performance
Soccer-Ramsdale replaces injured Henderson in England squad
Soccer-Sweden players back Berg after social media abuse
Soccer: 'Drink water!'-Ronaldo removes Coca-Cola bottles at Euro press conference
Soccer-North Macedonia ask UEFA to investigate Arnautovic's goal celebration
Soccer-Messi free kick not enough as Argentina held to draw by Chile
Soccer-Spain's Luis Enrique rues missed chances but defends game plan
Analysis-Soccer-Striking issues to address for Spain

Stories You'll Enjoy