Sports

May 27, 2024

‘I’ll play again’, says Swedish midfielder Olsson after brain illness

‘I’ll play again’, says Swedish midfielder Olsson after brain illness

Kristoffer Olsson

Sweden international Kristoffer Olsson, who was hospitalised in February with a rare brain illness that left him without motor or verbal skills, said Monday he was recovering well and would play football again.

The 28-year-old midfielder with Danish Superliga club FC Midtjylland fell unconscious in his home on February 20 and was admitted to Aarhus University Hospital, where he was placed on a ventilator.

Tests showed he had suffered several small blood clots in the brain due to a rare inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain.

He was transferred to a rehab centre in mid-March to help him regain his motor and verbal skills.

For the first three weeks after the collapse, “I was basically dying,” he told Swedish daily Aftonbladet.

“I was not contactable and I have no memories from that time,” he said, adding that he was now en route to a full recovery.

“I’ve gotten through the worst part. I’ve had to think, be positive and have patience with everything,” he said.

Olsson, who is still in rehab, said he planned to play professionally again.

“I feel great. I’m going to be able to play football again,” he said, adding that it was still too early to say when that would happen.

“Of course you want to be back as soon as possible… But I’m not stressing out about it, it will have to take time.”

“We’ll see when it happens.”

Olsson was in the stands on Sunday when FC Midtjylland won the Danish championship.

He said he had already kicked a ball around with a member of his rehab team.

“She stood in goal.”

“I can move well, I can run and my memory is good. I’m getting better every day. I’ve had tubes and things on me the whole time, but now I just have this little thing that helps me pee, that’s all that’s left.”

Hailing from Norrkoping on Sweden’s east coast, Olsson made his competitive debut for Arsenal in 2013, and has since played for Danish side Midtjylland and AIK in Sweden, then Krasnodar and Anderlecht, before rejoining Midtjylland permanently last summer after a loan spell.