Danish footballer Christian Eriksen has begun training again, returning to one of the clubs where he began his career.
Odense Boldklub, for whom he played between 2005 and 2008 before moving to Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie, has confirmed that he had begun working out with them as he continued his rehabilitation from the cardiac arrest that had almost cost him his life six months ago.
Eriksen collapsed on the pitch during Denmark’s opening group game against Finland in this summer’s Euros in Copenhagen. He was close to death, with only the skill and expertise of the emergency responders preventing a worse outcome.
After being resuscitated he was taken to a local hospital, where he spent six days under observation before being released. He has since been fitted with a cardioverter defibrillator, a small device inside his chest which helps regulate his heart movements, but he has not played competitively since.
He is contracted to play for Inter Milan, but has been suspended from Serie A because the league there prevents the use of such implants. They want him clear of any health concerns before that sanction a return to playing again for the Dane.
There have been suggestions that, if he cannot play in future without the aid of the device, Inter may terminate his contract. However, that has yet to be confirmed.
They have also said that, while his current condition does not meet the required standard of sporting fitness in Italy, there are other countries where the requirements many not be so strict.
At the moment, Eriksen is just training by himself, and there is no contact involved. Doctors will be assessing his performance closely in the coming weeks to determine if there are any ill-effects.
However, with growing evidence of cardiovascular health becoming of increasing concern among players, a degree of caution is likely to be exercised before he can expect anybody to offer him the chance to play again.
After a week in which two Premier League games – between Watford and Chelsea, and Southampton and Leicester – had to be temporarily suspended to deal with medical emergencies in he crowd linked to heart attacks, the issue is not going away.