Former Toronto FC midfielder Tsubasa Endoh is undergoing treatment in his native Japan for acute leukaemia.
In social media posts on his verified accounts, the 29-year-old from Tokyo said he was diagnosed on December 2.
“Honestly I was shocked at first and it was really hard to come to terms with the whole situation,” he wrote.
Endoh said he had already started chemotherapy sessions.
“It’s going to be one hell of a journey and it’s probably the hardest time of my life, but I’m determined to fight this and come back stronger than ever,” he added.
His announcement drew messages of support from the MLS club and several former teammates.
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Toronto knocked out the former young Japan international in the first round, ninth overall, from the University of Maryland in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft.
Endoh netted 10 goals in 80 appearances in all competitions for Toronto over the next six seasons. After his contract expired following the end of the 2021 campaign, Endoh signed a six-month contract with Australian Melbourne City FC in February.
Most recently he was with Los Angeles Galaxy II.
Acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) is a type of cancer of the blood and bone marrow, the spongy tissue inside the bones where blood cells are made.
According to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada, there were approximately 6,900 new cases of leukemia in 2020 in Canada.
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