UEFA Champions League contenders Fenerbahçe SK have frozen Ghanaian international Stephen Appiah's contract due to serious concerns over the midfielder's fitness, with the Turkish Football Association accepting the Istanbul club's application to do so.
Fenerbahçe took the decision with the 27-year-old suffering from a blood clot in his knee which, club doctors have said, will sideline him for the remainder of the season. Former Turkey national team doctor Mehmet Kurdoğlu diagnosed Appiah's condition for Fenerbahçe. He said: "Treatment will begin immediately to dilute his blood. This will last six months and during this period he shouldn't risk any contact that could cause bleeding to any part of his body.
"It is risky for him to head the ball as even this could cause a cerebral haemorrhage. There is a 95 per cent chance that he will recover after the treatment and only a five per cent chance of a recurrence. At the moment he can only do light training," added Kurdoğlu. Because of the extent of the injury, Fenerbahçe have suspended payment of the player and will hope to find a replacement before their UEFA Champions League first knockout round tie against Sevilla FC next month.
Appiah, whose campaign only began in October after he had summer surgery to repair torn knee ligaments, has featured just six times in the Turkish Süper Lig this term and twice in the UEFA Champions League. He joined Fenerbahçe for €8m from Juventus in the 2005 close season – subsequently making 64 top-flight appearances and scoring eleven goals.
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