Stoke City: Fingers crossed for speedy Huth recovery
ROBERT Huth faces between two and six weeks out of action after he was diagnosed with viral meningitis by doctors at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire.
Huth is expected to remain in hospital until the end of the week after being taken there four days ago with suspected meningitis.
The 27-year-old German is so weak and dizzy that he is confined to his hospital bed most of the day.
His estimated recovery time, which means he definitely misses the season's Premier League opener at Reading on August 18, varies so widely because individuals react in different ways to the virus.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"He may get on to the training pitch all right," said one doctor, "but the real test comes when he starts running and trying to head the ball.
"That is when you will have a better idea of exactly how long he might be out for because every individual is different."
Because of the timing, it is believed Huth must have contracted the disease during Stoke's recent fortnight-long tour of America.
He might be encouraged by the recent experiences of Chelsea striker Daniel Sturridge after he was diagnosed with the same viral infection and immediately seemed certain to miss out on the Olympic Games.
But the former Congleton High School pupil recovered quickly enough to take his place in the GB squad and was the man missing the crucial spot-kick in the penalty shoot-out defeat to South Korea in the quarter finals.
Huth himself appears in reasonable spirits and thanks to technological advances, not least the advent of Twitter, patients can now keep the outside world up to date with their condition.
"Thanks everyone who wished me a quick recovery! #manup" was the first communication from his sick bed.
Then four hours later he wrote: "Getting loads of messages of support, thanks a lot!!! I'll keep you updated on here with progress"
Stoke fans will be hopeful that Huth's legendary fearless approach will assist his recovery from such a potentially debilitating illness.
This, after all, is a footballer who once told the physio to get off the pitch because "I don't have time to bleed."
And as one fan put it on the internet, "a virus has been taken to hospital with a Huth!"
But the very word 'meningitis' nevertheless sends an instant shiver down the spine because it can have such deadly consequences in young and old alike.
So what is the virus exactly?
Essentially, it is an inflammation of a type of membrane called meninges that surrounds the spinal cord and the brain.
Symptoms include severe headaches, stiff neck and back muscles, fever and sweating, while in the later stages a victim might suffer severe vomiting, seizures and possible coma.
Immediate treatment – which in viral meningitis cases normally involves antibiotics and rest – usually does the trick, but if untreated for too long it can cause death.
There are seven types of meningitis and they include the two most commonly come across by the layman – viral meningitis and the far more serious meningococcal meningitis.