Evening Telegraph (First Edition)
Ex-Dens Park star McDonald needs kidney transplant
EX-DUNDEE star Kevin McDonald has revealed he has suffered from kidney disease for 14 years – and now needs a transplant.
The Fulham ace – whose illness first came to light in a 2008 medical as part of his move to Burnley from the Dark Blues – hopes to have surgery next month in a bid to avoid being placed on dialysis.
McDonald, 32, has known he would eventually need a transplant for the past 12 years.
The Carnoustie-born midfielder – who hasn’t appeared for Scott Parker’s side this season and is coaching at the English Premier League club – accepts his playing career could be over.
He told Sky Sports: “Over the years, my kidney function has got worse.
“That’s what happens as part of the disease, it gets worse over time.
“We hoped I could get through my football career, then have a kidney transplant at the end of it but, unfortunately, it’s not happened.
“I’ve got one kidney that doesn’t work at all and one kidney that’s about 10% now.
“I’ve been playing with stage 1, to now stage 5 kidney disease, which is chronic kidney disease, kidney failure.
“Now we’re speaking up on this because a lot of people have been asking me, ‘Why are you not going out on loan, why are you not playing, why are you going into coaching so early?’.
“It’s hard to digest but football is second priority now.
“My life, my family, my friends are number one, with my health even on top of that.
“That’s where we’re at now and we’ve just got to get on with it.”
McDonald made his full Dundee debut against Brechin at Glebe Park as a 17-year-old back in 2005.
Since leaving Dens Park – three years after his senior bow – McDonald has also played for Scunthorpe United (loan), Notts County (loan), Sheffield United and Wolves.
The ex-Dee – who has racked up more than 500 career appearances and was capped five times by Scotland – said: “In terms of the transplant, I’ve always been relaxed about it.
“I have trust in my kidney team, I always have done, as well as the doctors at my football clubs.
“Wolves and Fulham especially have been top drawer in terms of taking care of me.
“That’s always reassured me and now meeting the surgeon and talking to him, I have even more confidence in him to do the surgery, which is major surgery.