By Adam Ellis
Bristol lock Joe Batley will be unavailable for the rest of the season after being diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a form of cancer which affects the body’s lymphatic system.
The 21-year-old will now undergo a course of chemotherapy treatment which will last between three and six months.
Confirming the news, Bristol released the following statement: “Following medical investigations, Joe Batley has been diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma, a tumour affecting the lymphatic system.
“The 21 year-old is due to undergo a course of chemotherapy over a 3-6 month period, under the care of his haematologist and the club’s medical staff, with the expectation that he will be fit to return to rugby during the 2018/19 season.
“Players and staff at Bristol Rugby were briefed on Thursday and the news has come as a shock to everybody involved with the club. We will ensure that Joe receives the best care and support to aid treatment.”
Batley made the move to Ashton Gate last summer from Gloucester and has made 11 appearances for the Greene King IPA Championship leaders. The club added that the lock has already had an impact among a dressing room which is aiming to reach the heights of the Premiership once again.
“Joe is a hugely respected member of the group and his bravery and determination at this early stage underlines his immense character.
“The club’s sole concern is Joe’s health and the privacy of him and his family.”
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