Former soccer star John Hartson, who is fighting cancer, has been given a boost by messages of support from troops in Afghanistan and US Marines, his family said yesterday.
And Hartson's doctor said he could start chemotherapy next week if his condition continues to improve.
The 34-year-old former Arsenal and Celtic striker is now considered to be in a serious condition rather than critical, which he was when first admitted to hospital in Swansea three weeks ago.
Dr Pushpinder Mangat from ABM University NHS Trust said: “John Hartson is improving gradually and, if this improvement is sustained, we will consider chemotherapy at some point next week.
“He remains seriously, but not critically, ill and under the care of the critical care team at Morriston Hospital.”
A statement released by Hartson's family said: “We're all pleased that John has been able to make some progress and is ready to face the next steps in his treatment head-on. Our support is stronger than ever.
“Messages continue to flood in and provide us all with a boost, particularly from troops in Afghanistan and the US Marines.”
Hartson has been diagnosed with testicular cancer that has spread to his brain.
He was admitted to hospital earlier this month where he underwent emergency neurosurgery and it was discovered the cancer had spread to his lungs.