Algeria international Ayoub Abdellaoui has undergone a procedure for a heart problem and now faces a race against time to be fit for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The 26-year-old defender, who plays for Swiss top flight league club FC Sion, will not play again this season – but the club says his heart condition is not career-threatening.
“The player in question suffers from a cardiac electrical anomaly that could cause an arrhythmia,” FC Sion confirmed on their website.
“For this reason, a preventive intervention by catheter is strictly advised to avoid these problems and will be realised in the next days so that the defender is in the best possible dispositions next season. FC Sion wish him a speedy recovery.”
There are four rounds of matches left in the Swiss Super League which ends in two weeks time and Abdellaoui has played 19 of his club’s league games this season.
He last featured against FC Zurich in a league game two weeks ago.
The former Algeria U-20 and U-23 international joined FC Sion last year from USM Alger with whom he won the Algerian league twice, and finished as runners-up of the 2015 African Champions League.
Abdellaoui played Algeria’s last match of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying campaign against The Gambia which ended in a 1-1 draw, and he is hoping to make the Desert Foxes’ squad for the finals in Egypt.
Algeria have been drawn in Group C alongside Senegal, Kenya and Tanzania and will be based in Cairo.
The tournament kicks off on 21 June.