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.
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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.”
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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.