Further to recent media reports, Base Soccer Agency Limited, the management company representing Stephen Appiah, would like to issue the following statement in order to clarify certain statements that have been made regarding his injury and his future career with Fenerbahce Football Club:
In January 2007, during a training session with the Club, Stephen picked up an injury to his left knee. This injury worsened over the next few months.
However, in order that he could continue playing for the Club and help it achieve its ambitions in the 2006/7 season, at the Club's request Stephen agreed to play in games for the Club for the remainder of the season with the use of injections to control his pain.
During this period, Stephen trained on his own in the swimming pool and would usually join up with the rest of the team a day or two before matches.
Stephen played in matches for the Club with these pain killing injections until April 2007, however, towards the end of the 2006/7 season, he agreed with the Club that, in order that he would be fit in time for the 2007/8 season, he would undergo surgery on his knee.
This surgery took place on 23 May 2007.
After taking part in the Club's pre season tour of Austria during the summer of 2007 (during which he again trained on his own with the Club's physiotherapist), in or around July 2007, Stephen began to suffer breathing difficulties and pains in his left knee and his left leg generally.
Stephen reported these difficulties to the Club's medical staff, and was later diagnosed by the Club's medical staff as suffering from asthma. Stephen was therefore treated for asthma by the Club for the next three months, but without success.
Between October and December 2007, during which time Stephen was playing for the Club, he continued to suffer breathing difficulties. However, the treatment the Club had prescribed was having no effect.
Then, in December 2007, Stephen discovered the reason why: After a series of tests by Turkish and Italian doctors, it was confirmed that Stephen had not in fact been suffering from asthma as the Club had diagnosed, but rather he had developed blood clots in his left leg after his surgery, which later developed into micro embolisms. The Club had therefore misdiagnosed his condition.
Stephen was extremely concerned to learn that the misdiagnosis and mistreatment of his injury had led to a potentially career threatening, not to mention life threatening, condition.
The news also came as a terrible shock to his wife, his 3 young children, and his extended family.
During the past month, as a result of this misdiagnosis and mistreatment, Stephen has been receiving treatment for his condition on the advice of Italian doctors. The Club is aware that this is the case and his rehabilitation has been going well.
However, whilst Stephen has been in Ghana - where he is attending during the African Cup of Nations at the request of the Ghanaian Football Association and with the full knowledge of the Club - he learned through press reports that various confidential details regarding his personal medical details had been published to the worldwide media.
These reports also suggested that the Club had sought to freeze Stephen's contract in order that the Club could sign a further player as a replacement for him.
The Club has since confirmed that it has also sought to exercise an option in its favour in order to extend the duration of Stephen's contract for a further year.
The Club did not seek Stephen's consent at any stage in order to do this and he has not signed any such extension. The Club has provided a copy of the option, which is subject to his contract, but has not provided Stephen with a copy of the contract itself.
Both Stephen and his legal representatives have requested a copy of the contract on several occasions, but the Club has failed to disclose it to date.
As a result, Stephen will request a copy of the contract as filed with the Turkish Football Association, and ensure that FIFA is made aware of his request.
Stephen would like to make clear that he loves the Club and adores its fans. However, he is understandably very disheartened by the Club's attitude towards him since his injury.
Stephen has been a loyal servant to the Club, and has played through significant pain in order to help the Club. Given this, he is shocked and deeply disappointed by its treatment of him.
As a result of the misdiagnosis of Stephen's injury, he has been prevented from captaining his country during Ghana's hosting of the African Cup of Nations.
This is heartbreaking for Stephen and his family. Stephen has been the captain of his national team for 7 years and it was his dream to captain his country as the host nation in the tournament. Stephen was proud to be representing his country in front of his family, who rarely get the opportunity to see him play, let alone in a major tournament in Ghana.
This is a very difficult period for Stephen and his family.
Whilst Stephen does not want to be embroiled in legal action against the Club as a result of this matter, the Club's actions have not only caused Stephen and his family loss and suffering, but have also have meant that he has lost all confidence in the Club's ability to treat his injury and deal with him as they did prior to his injury.
Stephen is a father of three young boys, with a large extended family, and a charity which he founded in Ghana who support and depend upon him.
It is therefore extremely important that he makes the right decision regarding this matter. Given the horrific events of the past few months, he is presently considering his options.