Sweden midfielder Kristoffer Olsson still hoping to play soccer again after acute brain condition

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden midfielder Kristoffer Olsson is hoping to make a full return to elite-level soccer as he continues to recover from an acute brain condition that kept him in a hospital for a month.

Olsson, who was hospitalized in February after suddenly losing consciousness at home, is still living at a neurological rehabilitation center but made his first public appearance since the illness when he attended his Danish club Midtjylland’s game on Sunday as it won the domestic league title. After the game, Olsson was driven around the field in a cart while holding the trophy as he was applauded by fans.

In an interview with Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet on Monday, Olsson said he is confident of making a full recovery and is “dreaming of being back with the team and training again.”

The 28-year-old Olsson was diagnosed with several small blood clots in the brain as a result of an extremely rare blood-vessel inflammation. He was placed on a ventilator at the hospital and said he has no memories of a three-week period when “I was basically dying.”

He said he is now making steady progress in his recovery, and has already started kicking a ball around at the rehab center.

“I played a bit of football here the other day, with a member of staff,” Olsson was quoted as saying. “She was in goal.”

It’s still unclear, however, when Olsson can even return home and resume a normal life, much less resume playing professional sports.

“Of course you want to return as quickly as possible and fight to get there,” he said. “But I’m not stressing over that, it will take the time it takes. But I can move well, I can run, and my memory is good. I’m getting better with each day.”

Olsson has played 47 times for Sweden, most recently against Estonia in November. He joined Midtjylland in 2022 for a second spell, having previously played for Anderlecht in Belgium, Krasnodar in Russia, AIK in Sweden and in the youth teams at English club Arsenal.

He said being back inside the stadium for Midtjylland’s title celebrations was a great feeling — but also quite tiring.

“That was a vibe that I’ve missed, to watch some live football and see my team and everyone I know so well,” he said. “And then to hear the supporters sing about me and team … it was fantastic to be there. But it was also a lot to take in, so I got tired pretty quickly.”


AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

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