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Heart shock for Clarets starlet
A YOUNG Clarets player is set to undergo heart surgery after doctors detected a potentially deadly condition.
Central defender Jack Errington, 17, was diagnosed with an enlarged aorta during a routine check up.
He will not play again this season as he faces an operation to compress the aorta which takes blood from the heart to all parts of the body.
Experts said the condition was 'very rare' for a person his age and could prove fatal if undetected.
Lancashire Telegraph columnist Dr Tom Smith said: "The condition is mostly detected in men aged between 45 and 50. It is very rare for someone of his age.
"In the past he wouldn’t have been able to continue playing professional sport.
“If the aneurysm was allowed to develop and the wall of the aorta continued to thin then there is every chance of a rupture which results in life-threatening bleeding."
Jack was found to have the condition during the a routine heart screening by doctors at Burnley's training base at Gawthorpe.
Further tests confirmed that the defender required an operation to safeguard his future well-being.
He will have a sleeve or tube fitted around the problem area during the operation in Tyneside before recuperating at home. It is hoped he will resume his playing career next season.
Dr Smith said the procedure is likely to require a huge amount of surgical expertise.
He said: “The operation should see a sleeve fitted around the problem area, and although this can sometimes prove tricky, it cuts out the risk of blood loss.
“The sleeve or tube must be elastic but firm, normally made of something like Teflon, allowing the normal tissues and attached veins to operate as normal but compressing the aorta so that it doesn’t expand unreasonably.
“It could take anything up to six hours to complete and the tube will remain for the rest of his life.
“It’s fantastic that they have diagnosed this so early, it gives the young lad every chance of resuming his football.”
First team boss Eddie Howe said the club were backing the teenager to make a full recovery.
He said: “We wish Jack and his family all the best and will make sure he continues to get the possible care.
“This shows the value of heart screening for all young footballers and while it’s a blow for Jack in the short term, the good news is that he can still hopefully have a successful career ahead of him.”
Jack joined the Clarets at the start of last season from the famous Wallsend Boys Club in Newcastle which has nurtured the talents of Michael Carrick, Alan Shearer, ex-Burnley winger Philip Cavener, ex-Claret Derek Scott and ex-boss Brian Laws.
Jack was handed a professional contract at Turf Moor during the summer after impressing in Terry Pashley’s youth team last season.
He played a key role in the second half of last season as he helped the youth team reach the last four of the FA Youth Cup with an outstanding performance at Fulham in the last eight.
This good form led to him signing professional terms and earn a promotion to the Development Squad under Jason Blake.
Jack, who turns 18 in December, first appeared at Turf Moor in 2011 when he captained Northumberland to victory against Lancashire in the Northern Counties Schools' Championships.