Borussia Dortmund, to replace Haaland, had decided to focus on the former Ajax. A few weeks later he was diagnosed with testicular cancer to return. But after a long battle, Sebastian now has one goal: to take the field on January 22 against Augsburg

    Elmar Bergonzini

    @elmarbergo

    January 7th
    – Milan

    The countdown has begun. Accompanied by enthusiasm and a sense of liberation. Sebastien Haller is coming back. He’s actually already back. After a terrifying battle, which he faced twice, the Franco-Ivorian striker departed with his squad for their winter training camp in Spain. And he has one goal: to return to the field on January 22nd in the match that Borussia Dortmund will play in their own stadium against Augsburg.

    HISTORY

    In the summer Borussia Dortmund, to replace Haaland, decided to focus on Haller, taken from Ajax for 31 million. This is the most expensive purchase of the yellow and black summer market, the second most expensive coup ever (after that of Dembelé, paid 35 million in 2016). A few weeks later he was diagnosed with a malignant testicular tumor, the most frequent (but not to be underestimated) among men in their 30s. Haller then immediately underwent chemotherapy, ending up under the knife. “Sebastien will now receive the best possible treatment,” explained BVB sporting director Sebastian Kehl. “The chances of recovery are very good. We wish him and his family a lot of strength and optimism. We turn our thoughts to him at this difficult time.” .

    the controversies

    In reality, there was also immediate controversy about it: Klaus-Peter Dieckmann, medical director of the Hamburg cancer center, had his say on the Haller case, highlighting his surprise at the fact that the disease had not been diagnosed at the time of the medical examinations prior to the his move to Dortmund. “Often in those cases attention is paid to the muscular capacities of the athletes and no attention is paid to the urological data – explained Dieckmann -. Close attention should be paid to the genitals. Personally I consider it a medical failure”. In early August, on the day of Dortmund’s presentation, Haller wanted to participate in the event by shooting a video that was broadcast on the giant screens of the stadium: “Hello everyone. As you know I can’t be present today. I really appreciate your support, I can’t wait to play in front of you and against the yellow wall. I hope the season starts in the best possible way, I will follow the games! All the best.”

    THE CALVARY

    Rehabilitation initially seemed to be going well: already in mid-August Haller had resumed training. He immediately reacted with great determination to the diagnosis, trying to work hard to recover quickly and get back to playing. Priscilla, the wife of the Franco-Ivorian striker, posted an Instagram story on August 16 in which her husband was seen working out in her personal gym at her home. Wearing the Dortmund kit, Haller looked smiling and concentrated. The chemo had made him lose a few pounds and his hair, but he was already working to get back. In October, at the end of a cycle of chemotherapy, he flew to Amsterdam where Ajax, his former team, welcomed him to allow him to train (on a separate field) in the red and white sports centre.

    another operation

    On October 25, Haller then returned to racing on a pitch, even though he had made it known that “although I have a recovery plan in mind, I may also have to undergo another operation. It will depend on how extensive the tumor is. If I don’t have to operate again, I think that in two/three weeks I could resume training with Dortmund.” Unfortunately not: in mid-November Haller, via social media, made it known that “after the chemo there were various possible developments. I would like to inform you that my battle is not over yet. I have to undergo another operation to definitively defeat this tumor that keeps me away from the playgrounds”. Back under the knife, however, Haller did not give up, and continued to work to recover quickly. Publicly he has always shown great serenity and fortitude, as confirmed by his wife Priscilla: “I love him because he is a lion”.

    THE RETURN

    Now, however, the worst really seems to be behind us. On the day of the Borussia Christmas party, Priscilla published a new photo in which we see that her husband is growing her hair back. Haller is now uncontainable, he wants to return to play, to the point that the managers and technical staff of Dortmund have to stop him. He would train every day, he would do it for hours and hours. But it is necessary that his body gradually gets used to the hard work. He must not exaggerate. For this reason, paradoxically, the player has been forbidden to train as much as he would like. However, the club took him with the rest of the squad to Spain for their winter training camp. “He really wants to go back to training with the team – said sporting director Kehl -. We are very happy for him and can’t wait to have him back.” The goal is to return to the field on January 22, against Augsburg. Even just for a piece of the race. Recalling what he said to his new fans in mid-August: “I can’t wait to play in front of you and the yellow wall”. We’re almost there, the countdown has begun.

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