Page last updated at 16:01 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 17:01 UK

Sick Hartson 'getting stronger'

John Hartson
John Hartson was diagnosed with testicular cancer which has spread

Former footballer John Hartson is getting stronger and has made an "excellent recovery" from a second operation on his brain, doctors say.

It is hoped the 34-year-old, who was diagnosed with cancer earlier this month, will be able to begin chemotherapy treatment soon.

The pre-planned operation to drain fluid was performed on the ex-Arsenal, Celtic and Wales star at the weekend.

His family said said he was receiving excellent care at hospital in Swansea.

Hartson, a father-of-three, has testicular cancer and doctors also found the disease had spread to his brain and lungs.

He had emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain soon after his diagnosis and resumed radiotherapy treatment soon after.

Since then he has remained critically ill in intensive care at Swansea's Morriston Hospital.

We're delighted he's been able to make some progress but realise that he still has a long way to go
Statement from John Hartson's family

Dr Peter Matthews, critical care consultant at Abertawe Bro Morgannwg (ABM) University NHS Trust, said it was hoped Hartson's physical condition would continue to improve with the multidisciplinary care he is receiving.

In a statement he said: "John Hartson remains under the care of our critical care team and neurosurgeons at Morriston Hospital.

"Following previous emergency surgery to relieve pressure on his brain, a pre-planned neurosurgical drainage procedure was performed at the weekend from which he has made an excellent recovery.

"We hope that he will be in a position to advance his cancer treatment (chemotherapy) as soon as possible."

A statement released by Hartson's family said: "John is getting excellent care from all the staff at the hospital and all the family are here to give John as much support as we can.

"We're delighted he's been able to make some progress but realise that he still has a long way to go.

"The support we are receiving from friends and people around the world is a fantastic lift to us all."



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SEE ALSO
Cancer boy's support for Hartson
25 Jul 09 |  Wales
Harford offers support to Hartson
17 Jul 09 |  Luton
Hartson condition still critical
17 Jul 09 |  Wales
Hartson told cancer also in lungs
15 Jul 09 |  Wales
Hartson facing cancer treatment
13 Jul 09 |  Wales
Hartson in frame for Falkirk job
09 Jun 09 |  Falkirk
Hartson reveals his Swans regret
08 Feb 08 |  Welsh
Hartson brings career to an end
07 Feb 08 |  West Brom

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