Cardiff City’s veteran defender Sol Bamba has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, the Championship club has announced.
The 35-year-old defender has started chemotherapy and will be supported by the Bluebirds’ medical team.
Bamba, who started his career at Paris St Germain, has made six appearances for Cardiff this season. His last outing among 117 in total came against Birmingham in December.
The Ivory Coast international has played for many clubs during a successful career. After a spell in Paris, he went to Dunfermline Athletic and then Hibernian in Scotland.
One year at Leicester City followed before he spent two injury-ravaged seasons in Turkey with Trabzonspor. The African played one game for Italian club Palermo before a stint with Leeds United.
He joined Cardiff in 2016 and was a regular at the heart of defence for the best part of three seasons. The Bluebirds are battling to get back into the Premier League but Bamba’s biggest battle lies ahead.
A club statement read: “We are saddened to inform supporters that Sol Bamba has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
“With the close support of the club’s medical team, Sol has immediately started a course of chemotherapy treatment.”
High praise for Bamba
Then Cardiff manager Neil Warnock branded Bamba better than Virgil van Dijk back in 2017. That is open to debate but what is certain is how popular the rangy stopper is with his colleagues.
The statement continued: “Universally admired by team-mates, staff and supporters in the Welsh capital, Sol has begun his battle in typically positive spirits and will continue to be an integral part of the Bluebirds family.
“During treatment, Sol will support his team-mates at matches and our younger players within the Academy, with whom he will continue his coaching development.
“All future updates on Sol’s progress will be provided only via official club channels. While we request privacy for him and his family at this time, messages of support to be passed on to Sol may be sent to [email protected] We are all with you, Sol.”
Cardiff were knocked out of the FA Cup by Nottingham Forest on January 9. They can now focus on the league and trying to close the gap to the play-offs.
Neil Harris’s men sit 15th in the standings and are eight points adrift of sixth-placed Watford. It is not an insurmountable gap to bridge but they need to put together a run of victories.
That could start when they welcome Norwich City to the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday. Bamba will not be playing but his presence is certain to inspire his team-mates.
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