Cech's condition improving following surgery

17-10-2006

Not only Czech football fans but fans of football from around the world will no doubt welcome news that Chelsea keeper Petr Cech's condition has reportedly improved following surgery in Oxford. At the weekend the star keeper underwent emergency surgery after suffering a skull fracture from a collision between Cech and Reading's Stephen Hunt in the English Premiership. Fans are wishing the keeper a speedy and full recovery.

Many who witnessed the moments after Stephen Hunt's ugly collision with Chelsea keeper Petr Cech on Saturday were no doubt chilled by what they saw: the Czech keeper swaying on the ground, barely dragging himself off the pitch. Certainly the situation was deadly serious: a skull fracture that - Czech daily Mlada Fronta Dnes writes - left doctors fearful that potential haemorrhaging could easily threaten the keeper's life. Luckily, it didn't happen: though more detailed information on Cech's condition has yet to be released, it is thought that the goalkeeper now has the worst behind him. Reports since have suggested the player's condition has improved markedly, with Cech now fully conscious and communicating with those around him, including family members. On Monday the player's manager Pavel Zika confirmed the improvement:

"The information so far is that everything should be 100 percent 'ok' and I believe that this positive trend will continue. I am confident that - barring unexpected complications - Petr Cech will be released for home treatment. Regarding the healing of the fracture, some have said it will take eight, others ten weeks, but let's leave those questions aside for the moment and see how things develop."

But, full recovery from the fracture and concussion could take many months: already some specialists have warned against returning "too early". No one is saying for certain what will come next in Petr Cech's career: could he return as early as December or as late as next season? Or never? For now, it's anybody's guess. On the other hand, Ondrej Skvor, a journalist for the Czech daily "Sport" told me that - barring any unexpected complications - if anyone can recover fully from such an accident it is keeper Petr Cech:

"Petr Cech is mentally very strong, so I think that if there are no other problems he will get back. He will do what he has to do for a full recovery. And, if he comes back he will be as good as he was before because his abilities are very high."

Many football fans will now be keeping their fingers crossed that Cech will return soon to full health and return once again between the posts not only at Chelsea but also for the Czech national side. As for the incident leading up to the accident, Stephen Hunt, the Reading player who clashed with Cech has expressed regret and stressed the collision was not intentional. But, Petr Cech's father has disagreed, expressing anger over the challenge. He has been quoted as saying he thought Petr would be out for a year. Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho, meanwhile, has asked the English FA to conduct a full review of the incident.

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