CF Gloria Bistrita 1922's Lucian Sanmartean will miss at least the next month after contracting hepatitis.
Sanmartean, rated by many as one of the finest young prospects in his club's history, has been diagnosed as suffering from type B and type D hepatitis at the Sports Medicine Institute in Bucharest, to add to an already frustrating period for the former Romanian Under-21 international.
Having agreed terms for a move from Gloria to Divizia A leaders FC Rapid Bucuresti recently, a disagreement between the chairmen of the two clubs prevented the transfer, even though the details of his move had already been announced on Rapid's official website.
Despite this, Sanmartean joined Rapid at their winter training camp in Antalya, Turkey, but for reasons which seemed mysterious at the time, was prevented from playing more than 60 minutes of Rapid's friendly fixtures.
"Sanmartean doesn't play both phases of the game, the defensive and the offensive," said Rapid coach Mircea Rednic. "He doesn't run and there are a lot of minutes in which he disappears from the game. Either he cannot or he does not want to do more. He must understand that we are helping him, not he us."
On returning to Bistrita following the training camp, Sanmartean went for tests in Bucharest where it was discovered that he was suffering from the blood disease, the symptoms of which include physical weakness. Further tests will reveal exactly how serious his illness is, but he is certain to miss the restart of the Romanian season on 1 March and may yet be out of action for even longer.
The illness has also seriously damaged Sanmartean's international prospects, and Romanian coach Anghel Iordanescu has already removed him from his plans for the training camp and tournament in Cyprus which is takes place between 1 and 14 February. FC Politehnica AEK Timisoara's Cristian Silvasan has taken his place in the squad.