Thanks to everyone for their support. We will keep you informed. For now: stay strong Appie! ?? pic.twitter.com/vo4VVkjFbZ— AFC Ajax (English) (@AFCAjax_EN) July 8, 2017
In an unexpected twist of fate, Abdelhak Nouri, the Ajax soccer player who collapsed on the field Saturday, has been left with permanent brain damage.
The 20-year-old athlete fell unconscious during a pre-season friendly match against Werder Bremen last weekend and was put into an induced coma at a hospital in Austria.
His team confirmed the news of his brain damage in a series of tweets, which included condolences to his loved ones.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his loved ones in this difficult time. (2/2)#StayStrongAppie— AFC Ajax (English) (@AFCAjax_EN) July 13, 2017
According to CNN, as of two days ago, tests indicated that Nouri’s heart was “functioning normal and appears to be undamaged,” but no tests could be run on his brain while he was asleep.
"We feel enormously for his parents, siblings and other relatives,” said Ajax Chief Executive Edwin van der Sar, according to the Telegraph.
"Abdelhak is such a great talent, but unfortunately we will never know how far his star would have reached out would not have happened like this," he added
Many fellow athletes and others took to Twitter to pay their respects in Nouri’s honor.
Absolutely devastating news about Abdelhak Nouri. Thoughts are with his friends & family. https://t.co/XrB6ZAJX6o— Greg Johnson (@gregianjohnson) July 13, 2017
Absolutely sickening news coming out of Ajax. My thoughts are with Abdelhak Nouri. :( https://t.co/IOLkmWIXKJ— Nizaar Kinsella (@NizaarKinsella) July 13, 2017
One of the best players I've ever played against. All my prayers go out to Abdelhak Nouri and his family. #staystrongappie— Måns Herrmann (@mansherrmann) July 13, 2017
Absolutely heartbreaking about Nouri. Some very good judges predicted big things for him at Ajax. Wishing him and his family all the best.— Andy Brassell (@andybrassell) July 13, 2017
While Nouri's fate is heartbreaking, it may shed light on a larger issue within professional sports regarding players' health.
For example, concussions in American football and hockey are recently starting to be taken seriously by league officials, despite years of medical evidence that suggests this has been an ongoing problem.
Athletes are typically considered to be some of the healthiest people as they are constantly active, keeping hydrated, and training for their sport. However, as we are seeing with Nouri, not everything is as it appears.
This incident serves as a devastating reminder that any and all signs of potential health problems should be taken seriously.
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