There were fears new signing Alex Kiwomya might never play football again, Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Ferguson has revealed.
However, the Scot is hopeful the 21-year-old striker could be back in action this year - despite being diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder.
Sheffield-born Kiwomya will be in a hospital bed this weekend as Rovers kick off their League One campaign against Gillingham.
But the youngster’s spirits have been lifted after fears he may never play again were lifted.
“I’ve probably not been as transparent as I usually am with you guys [the media] and there’s reasons for that, it’s been a really complex thing this,” Ferguson explained at his pre-match press conference.
“We have got to the bottom of it and he has got symptoms of a condition called Guillain-Barre. It attacks the nervous system. It’s quite a bad thing that he’s got.
“But the good news is that he’s got a very mild form of it.
“We’ve managed to get through the final scans, with the neurologist, and other details we had to go through. It was really quite extensive, and also quite worrying at one point because it could have been a lot worse.
“He’s just picked this up. We think it comes from when you have an illness and there’s a bacteria problem, he was ill when we were doing the testing back in the summer.
“Fortunately it’s not as bad as it could’ve been.
“There were a lot of serious things we had to cancel out so really it wasn’t so much about when he’s back but more about the boy’s health. That seems to be okay.
“Time-wise I can’t be too specific but we’re looking at at least two months.
“But we actually feel that’s good news considering what he’s been through.”
He added: “People are probably thinking if it was a medical problem, why didn’t we pick it up?
“But it was nothing we could’ve picked up, he’s just been really unfortunate.
“I have to say we’re delighted because we were getting to the point where we really getting quite worried and the boy was too.
“But now we know what treatment he needs and he’s undergoing treatment at the hospital now and he’ll be in there for the next four days.
“He’s okay now that he knows what it is.
“There was mention of him not playing again and we have to take that into consideration because the symptoms were affecting his nervous system so badly.
“That was obviously a worst case scenario in terms of his football.
“But we’ve ruled out quite a lot of things and I think we’re all generally pleased that it’s probably the best news we could’ve had.”