Keighley have released a statement announcing that their player Jordan Aitchson will take a step back from playing and training responsibilities following the diagnosis of a heart condition.
To respect Aitchison’s privacy, the club reported the issue as a chest injury while he awaited the resuls of assessment undertaken by club doctor Richard Lawrence.
The issue was discovered during a routine heart screening held for the players earlier this month.
Aitchison has since been advised by cardiology consultants that the condition can be cured with an operation, and both the club and Jordan are awaiting confirmation of a date for the procedure to take place.
The club’s statement added: “The condition is one that Jordan has had since birth, however, it was detected by the heart screening which was made mandatory by the sport’s governing body in 2015 following the passing of Danny Jones.
“Whilst the Cougars as a club understand the seriousness of this matter and how scary it can be that a condition that could potentially prove life threatening if not detected through training and playing, this has answered many questions during his career where Jordan has questioned his own personal fitness levels and ability in both matches and training.
“These questions are now attributable to this previously undiagnosed condition.”
Cougars coach Rhys Lovegrove said: “This is an extremely difficult period for Jordan and one that as his Head Coach I will fully back him throughout.
“Jordan showed last season the ability he possesses with Man of the Match performances against Oldham and London, and I have no doubt that he will be back at his best once again following the completion of his treatment.
“The boys are all supporting Aitch at this time and shows the collective team spirit that this group of human beings has going forward into the season.
“I’d like to place on record my own personal thanks to the Doc, Richard, for discovering this condition and allow Aitch to receive the appropriate treatment that will allow him to continue his blossoming Rugby League career.
“The Cougars as a club will fully support Jordan, from the board of directors through to Jordan’s coaches, teammates, the backroom staff and our fantastic supporters base through this difficult period in his career and life.”
The club closed its statement by thanking Dr Richard Lawrence, the Rugby Football League and the cardiology consultant that has, since the discovery of the condition, been treating Jordan.
They add: “Jordan would also like to state his thank you to the club for their continued support and say to his fellow Rugby League players, both professional and amateur, to please undertake all medical examinations available to them.”