Northern Ireland goalkeeper faces long lay-off after he develops blood clot
Northern Ireland goalkeeper Trevor Carson is facing a long lay-off after developing deep vein thrombosis.
His club Motherwell, who play in the Scottish Premiership, revealed the 30-year-old has been ruled out of action for "an indefinite period" with DVT, a blood clot that develops within a deep vein, normally in the leg, groin or arm.
Carson, who made his senior international debut earlier this year, played for Northern Ireland in last Sunday's Uefa Nations League defeat to Austria.
Days later, the Killyleagh man found himself in hospital and facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Motherwell manager Stephen Robinson confirmed that a timescale has not been set for Carson's return to football and the focus is on his health.
"It's very important that we make sure he's alright and not worry about the football side of things with him just now," he said.
"Trevor had a blood clot and it's going to keep him out for a long time.
"He's been in and out of hospital since Wednesday. He felt a lot of pain when he was away with the international squad, came back and we thought it best that we take him into hospital. The staff have been superb with him."
Robinson said investigations are ongoing to get to the bottom of the problem and make sure Carson is on the right track.
He added: "He's going to be out for the foreseeable future. There's been no time-frame set for that. There's no definitive answer as to when he'll be back but first and foremost, our concern is with Trevor's health.
"He's in the right place and we wish him a speedy recovery. He'll be absolutely fine but it's now important we get the right treatment.
"We have to remember, everybody thinks they're just footballers, but he's got a young family as well. It's very important we make sure he's right and not worry about the football side of things."
Robinson admitted that the news came as a shock to Carson and the club, but thanked staff for their swift reaction.
"He seems okay," Robinson said of the player. "Obviously it's a fright, you don't expect things like that at all. It's given everybody a fright but we've got to the bottom of it early.
"The diagnosis, our medical staff, Davie Henderson, was excellent and got him up to hospital. He'll be in very good hands and we're confident he'll be okay again."
While Carson's health is the most important matter, the news is a blow for club and country in football terms.
He has been a revelation in the Scottish top flight since joining Motherwell from Hartlepool in summer 2017.
After picking up his fifth senior cap on Sunday, he had also been hopeful he could push to secure Northern Ireland's number one jersey for the upcoming Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.
Speaking last weekend of his battle with Bailey Peacock-Farrell for a starting spot, Carson said: "It is competitive and a lot will happen between now and March when we play the first qualifier."