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O'Brien recovering well after heart op


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Derby County can confirm that Academy defender Mark O'Brien has undergone successful heart surgery.

The 16-year-old, who made his first-team debut for the Rams last season, underwent surgery at Glenfield Hospital in Leicester to repair valves in his heart.

The condition was spotted when Mark underwent a routine medical scan, which is compulsory for all scholars.

Given the significance of the condition Mark was advised to have the operation as soon as possible.The advice applied to Mark's quality of life as well as his playing career, and the wishes of Mark's parents were central throughout the process.

The doctors have hailed the operation as 'successful' and that there is 'no reason why he cannot resume playing as normal, after a suitable recovery time'.

Only days after the operation Mark was at Derby's Moor Farm training complex mixing in with the rest of his team-mates.

Mark will rest for the next 3 to 4 months to allow the scar tissue to heal and will continue to be monitored by the club on his progress as he prepares to resume light training.

Mark said: "Everything is going according to plan which is good, I'm feeling fit and healthy and I'm just looking forward to getting back to playing football again.

"The club has been fantastic with me and I'd like to thank everyone for their wonderful support."

John Perkins is the Youth Team Manager at Derby County and he commented: "It has obviously been a major ordeal for Mark and his family, but the dignity and courage they have shown has been humbling to say the very least.

"Mark is a very calm individual who takes everything in his stride and this has been no different; he shows maturity well beyond his years.

"The operation has been successful and Mark will now rest for a few months before joining us back at Derby County to resume his career.

"He was back at Moor Farm (training ground) days after having the op and was strolling around as if nothing had happened.

"He is an extremely dedicated professional who looks after himself and there is no doubt when he gets back into training he will be working hard to get back to the level he was at before and hopefully even better.

"It is very good news that this problem was dedicated early, through the Academy's medical screening programme and has now been dealt with."


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