Stoke City: Robert Huth diagnosed with meningitis
STOKE defender Robert Huth is at the centre of a major health scare after being admitted to hospital with meningitis.
The 27-year-old German is currently under observation at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire after being rushed there two days ago.
Manager Tony Pulis said it was not known whether Huth was suffering from the potentially fatal meningococcal strain of the virus, or the less serious viral strain.
"It's a big worry," Pulis admitted. "We don't know exactly what he's got, he's still having tests.
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"It's a massive worry for us as a club and for him personally."
He said he had not spoken to Huth and he declined to give any further detail on his condition until more is known.
Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge – a former Congleton High School pupil – was the last footballer to be diagnosed with the viral strain last month.
But he recovered after a short period recuperating to take his place in team GB's Olympic line-up with few adverse affects.
But Huth's participation in the big Premier League kick-off at Reading on Saturday, August 18 now appears unlikely even if, as the club is praying, he is only diagnosed with the viral form of the disease.
Meanwhile, Pulis will be heading Stoke's delegation to a Football Association hearing to try to secure international clearance for American international Geoff Cameron today.
And he is also hoping the signing of Wolves winger Michael Kightly will be completed after today's medical so he can be included in Friday's final friendly fixture against German Bundesliga newcomers Gruether Furth.
"I'm disappointed we haven't been able to bring him away with us (to Torquay and Yeovil) to mix with the other lads," said Pulis. "We need it done today if we can."
Pulis took a second and possibly final look at Polish trialist Sebastian Boenisch as he played for 72 minutes at left back in last night's 1-1 draw at Yeovil Town.
Winger Matthew Etherington and left-back Marc Wilson were withdrawn early as precautions because of back complaints, while striker Peter Crouch was resting a knock last night.
Pulis, who says he will now wind down the physical demands of his squad's vigorous pre-season build-up, re-iterated his determination to jettison several fringe players to free up room and money for further new signings.
"We will be trying to get as many out as we can," he stated, "then bring some more in."
However, speculation that winger Jermaine Pennant has opened talks with Premier League rivals Wigan have been denied by the injured player himself.
Meanwhile, goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen has confirmed reports from Denmark that he has retired from international football after recently reaching a century of caps.
He was their number one at Euro 2012, but pulled out at the 11th-hour with injury.
"To have more than 100 caps for his country and play for the longitude he has, " said Pulis, "he's obviously been a very dedicated professional and he's been good for us too."