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Sanchez to undergo heart op in bid to save career

Sevilla defender Sergio Sanchez has decided to undergo heart surgery in Germany in a bid to save his playing career.

The 23-year-old left-back, who joined Sevilla from Espanyol last summer, was told in early January to stop all physical activity for the time being due to a heart condition.

Sanchez has not played since and after consulting a heart specialist in Hamburg he has decided to undergo a "complicated'' operation in the near future.

"Dr Sievers has explained the risks involved in having such an important operation, because it's a complicated surgery," Sanchez said on his club's official website.

"But he made it clear that the risks are few compared to the possible benefits that could come about if I have the operation. There is a good chance that I could be able to continue my career as a footballer if everything goes how we want.''

There have been several cases of Sudden Death Syndrome in football in recent years, with Cameroon international Marc Vivien Foe's death in the 2003 Confederations Cup semi-final bringing the problem of undetected heart conditions among players into the spotlight.

In 2007 Sevilla's midfielder Antonio Puerta died after collapsing on the pitch due to a cardiac arrest, while Espanyol captain Daniel Jarque died after collapsing after training last year.

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