Berlin (AP) – Defender Timo Baumgartl from 1. FC Union Berlin has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and a tumor has been successfully removed.

    “Fortunately, I’ve been taking preventive care for a number of years. I’m very grateful for the quick, clear diagnosis and for the successful operation that has since taken place,” said the 26-year-old, according to a statement from the Bundesliga club. The tumor in the testicles was discovered during a check-up and surgically removed a few days later.

    “I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the incredible support from the Charité, the team doctors and the club. I will never forget that. My focus now is on the fastest possible recovery,” said Baumgartl.

    In a video that the club put on YouTube, the central defender also said: “All the forecasts are positive, so I’m positive about the next few weeks.” It’s not an easy time, “but the support is incredible”.

    Oliver Ruhnert, Managing Director of professional football at Union, said: “We will give Timo the best possible support on his way. Our excellent network of absolute top doctors will continue to be available to him.” One is confident that the 26-year-old will fully recover. Baumgartl said it was still unclear when he could be back on the pitch. In the coming week he will receive a recommendation for his further therapy. Fortunately, the cancer was discovered at an early stage – thanks to the check-up, as the German emphasized: “It’s ten minutes that you invest in your life.”

    According to the announcement, further preventive follow-up treatments will be carried out in the coming weeks. Baumgartl will be out for the last game of the Köpenicker season on Saturday against VfL Bochum (3.30 p.m. / Sky).