Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has revealed the extent to which he struggled to overcome his recent bout of malaria, including the nearly 10 pounds he lost while recovering from the disease.
The 31-year-old Arsenal captain explained the days leading up to his diagnosis after returning from international duty for Gabon in March. First came the lethargy for Aubameyang, then came the days-long fever, followed by a three-day trip to the hospital — quotes from our partners at Sky Sports:
“I was feeling just normal, a bit down — I thought that it was the travel.
“As you know, going to Gabon is not so close to here. I felt just a bit tired, especially against Liverpool, but I thought it was just because of the travel. I was feeling very, very bad. This was the worst moment of being sick in my life, it was really hard.
“I had three days in a row, fever, all day and all night, nonstop. Even the [fever and pain medication] and stuff had no effects on this. After that, I spoke to the doctor.
“I said I needed to go to the hospital because I had travelled to Africa so maybe it was something like malaria.
“I stayed in hospital for three days. I was really, really down and I think I lost four kilograms (nine pounds). It was a really bad moment and I think my family was a bit scared to see me like this.
“I had some good treatment, it worked well, the doctors and the hospital. I am lucky I got treatment at the right moment, if you don’t treat it quickly it can lead to big problems.”
In total, Aubameyang missed four games before returning to the bench and coming on as an 85th-minute sub in Arsenal’s 2-1 Europa League semifinal first-leg defeat to a Villarreal side coached by former Gunners boss Unai Emery last week.