Flamengo's Ederson cleared after cancer battle, eyes return to training
One-time Brazil international Ederson has told L'Equipe he has beaten cancer and expects to return to the pitch within weeks.
Ederson was diagnosed with testicular cancer eight months ago, but the 32-year-old, who returned to his native country after a career in Europe with Nice, Lyon and Lazio, has been given cleared and has resumed training with his current club, Flamengo.
"I can say today that I'm cured," Ederson said. "I have faced many battles, but that was the most difficult. Beating that disease has not been easy. I got back with the professional squad at the start of January. I first worked on my own, but now I'm training almost normally with my teammates. I'm in a transitional phase. I'm lacking rhythm and stamina.
"In terms of muscle, I'm good, but my lungs are still a little fragile. The chemotherapy has left its mark. We'll see how that develops, but I think that I will be able to play with the first team in one or two months. I'm very optimistic.
"I'm going to work well [and] not give up on anything, as we used to say at Nice or Lyon. I'm going to work very hard to get back to my best so that my son sees me scoring goals. That would be my most beautiful trophy."
The attacking midfielder's disease was spotted when he failed three drugs tests in quick succession and led to 21 bouts of chemotherapy and two operations to get him on the road to recovery.
"I said to myself that I would fail and that I wasn't going to be able to play again, but I also knew that I needed to be positive," Ederson said, highlighting the part his personal fitness coach, Alex Cabrera, and his seven-year-old son, Alessandro, played in keeping his spirits up.
"Alex was crucial in that, telling me to be patient and brave. At that time, I also found energy through my little boy. I was able to spend time with him, play football in the living room or the garden. He often asked me, 'Papa, when are you going to play again? Can I go on the pitch with you at the Maracana?'
"He was my driving force. It's for him that I fought. I want him to see his dad score goals and celebrate wins."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman