BRISTOL ROVERS star Nick Anderton has been diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and will undergo surgery to remove part of his leg.
The left-back, 26, and his club confirmed on Thursday he was suffering from Osteosarcoma – a cancer typically affecting long bones, such as legs and arms.
A team statement read: "Bristol Rovers can confirm that defender Nick Anderton has been diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.
"As a result of this, Nick will undergo an operation in the coming weeks to remove this part of the bone."
Anderton released a positive statement of his own vowing to fight the illness.
The Rovers ace wrote: "Unfortunately, this rare form of cancer which is affecting my femur means that I’ll be undergoing an operation in the coming weeks.
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"This diagnosis has come as a huge shock to both myself and my family; however, we are remaining positive and hopeful.
"I want to thank everyone at Bristol Rovers, especially Club Doctor Ian Ferguson and Head of Medical Stuart Leake, the specialists at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham and my family for their continued support.
"I want to wish the boys all the best for the upcoming season, starting this Saturday back at The Mem.
"Hopefully I can be swinging off another traffic light on Gloucester Road come May!"
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Anderton helped Bristol Rovers seal promotion to League One on the final day of the season.
They claimed third place in League Two in dramatic fashion by beating already relegated Scunthorpe 7-0 leapfrogging Northampton to the final automatic promotion spot on goals scored.
Rovers needed to better Northampton's result by five goals – only to run in SEVEN.
There were jubilant scenes at the Memorial Stadium as Rovers fans poured onto the pitch in their thousands.
And the celebrations continued long into the night on the streets of Bristol with fans and players involved – including Anderton, according to his statement.
Anderton joined Bristol Rovers at the start of last season from Carlisle and played 34 times in League Two as the club gained promotion.
The defender has also turned out for Preston North End, Barrow and Blackpool during his career.
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