Football star in ‘coma’ after virus test
Montpellier midfielder Junior Sambia has been placed in an "artificial coma" after testing positive for coronavirus.
The 23-year-old was the first footballer in the French top flight, Ligue 1, to be confirmed with the virus, The Sun reports.
And his agent has revealed the symptoms have become so serious that after changing hospital and being in intensive care, doctors decided to put Sambia in a coma.
Frederic Guerra told Le Parisien: "His condition is stable … it has not deteriorated, nor improved.
"It is tough. He really respected confinement. He did everything well. He must have contracted the virus while shopping.
"He suffered three days of severe diarrhoea - like gastroenteritis. Then, on Tuesday morning, he went to the hospital.
"I reached him when he was on an IV. He had just received the COVID-19 test result. This one was negative. He was due to leave on Wednesday, then his condition worsened with his lungs.
"It grew more complicated in transit. He went back to the same hospital, then he changed hospitals twice before being placed in an artificial coma."
South Korean Hyun-jun Suk, who plays for Ligue 2 side Troyes, became the first professional player in France to contract the virus on March 13.
But thankfully, he was on the mend by the end of the month.
There have been more than 123,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in France with 22,245 deaths at the time of writing.
Earlier this month, president Emmanuel Macron extended the lockdown in the country until May 11.
Frenchman Sambia is originally from Lyon but chose to stay in Montpellier during lockdown.
He is a defensive midfielder and has played 22 games in all competitions for Montpellier this season, scoring once.
Sambia moved from Chamois Niortais to the Occitanie region in the south of France, initially on loan in 2017 before making the switch permanent a year later.
His side was eighth in the Ligue 1 table at the time of the suspension, on 40 points alongside Lyon and Monaco.
Montpellier sits 10 points adrift of Rennes, who occupy the third and final Champions League spot with 10 matches remaining should the season be resumed.
Montpellier won its only first-division crown in its 101-year history in 2011/12 when Olivier Giroud's 21 goals powered it to a shock title.
This article first appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission
Originally published as Football star in 'coma' after virus test