Ajax player Nouri has se­vere and per­ma­nent brain dam­age

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTING LIFE - VI­ENNA —

Ajax mid­fielder Ab­del­hak Nouri has been di­ag­nosed with se­vere and per­ma­nent brain dam­age, five days after he col­lapsed due to an ir­reg­u­lar heart­beat dur­ing a friendly game in Aus­tria.

Dutch club Ajax said Thurs­day on Twit­ter that it “re­ceived very bad news” re­gard­ing Nouri’s con­di­tion, after doc­tors at a hospi­tal in Inns­bruck, Aus­tria, woke the player from an in­duced coma.

The club added that “re­cov­ery chances of these cru­cial brain func­tions are nil.”

Nouri is ex­pected to re­turn soon to the Nether­lands for fur­ther treat­ment at a hospi­tal in Am­s­ter­dam.

The di­ag­no­sis came two days after tests in­di­cated that Nouri’s heart was un­dam­aged while a CT scan of his brain and ini­tial neu­ro­log­i­cal tests showed no ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties, ei­ther. Doc­tors were “cau­tiously op­ti­mistic about his re­cov­ery,” Ajax said at that time.

The 20-year-old Dutch­man col­lapsed and was taken to hospi­tal by he­li­copter with Ajax trail­ing Werder Bre­men 2-1 in Satur­day’s pre-sea­son friendly. The game in Ziller­tal in the Aus­trian Alps was aban­doned after the 70th-minute in­ci­dent.

“This is the worst pos­si­ble mes­sage. It’s ter­ri­ble,” Ajax di­rec­tor Ed­win van der Sar said. “It’s been a real shock to Ajax even though we knew this was a pos­si­ble sce­nario.”

Nouri made his de­but for Ajax in Septem­ber 2016 and played 15 games. He was part of the squad for the Europa League fi­nal in Stock­holm in May when Ajax lost 2-0 to Manch­ester United, but did not play.

He also re­mained part of the club’s youth team in the Dutch sec­ond di­vi­sion, where he was voted best player of last sea­son after scor­ing 10 goals in 26 matches.

“Ab­del­hak was such a great tal­ent,” Van der Sar said. “Un­for­tu­nately, we’ll never know how far his star would have risen.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.