Why football continues to exercise caution with COVID-19 and its dangers to the heart – The Athletic

January was quite a month for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. One moment was a life in exile with Arsenal, the next a fresh start with Barcelona. “I’m living a dream,” Aubameyang said after his chaotic deadline gave a personal grand prize.

Between Arsenal’s wild nature and a late La Liga escape, however, there was a period of uncertainty.

Aubameyang was expected to spend much of January at the Africa Cup of Nations as captain of Gabon, only to test positive for COVID-19 upon his arrival in Cameroon. A subsequent examination, carried out by the medical commission of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), then discovered “heart damage” during routine examinations.

CAF opted to “take no risks” and excluded Aubameyang, along with teammates Axel Meye and Mario Lemina, from their group game with Ghana on January 14. All three had tested positive for COVID-19 and all three, CAF said. , had the same heart problem.

Meye was soon cleared to return and play for Gabon in their games against Morocco and Burkina Faso, but Aubameyang and Lemina were sent back to their clubs before the qualifying group had even reached its conclusion.

Then, thankfully, came comfort. “I came back to London to do some more checks, and I’m very happy to say that my heart is doing great and I’m in perfect health!” wrote Aubameyang on Instagram.

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