Robinson speaks about medical problem

Thursday, 12 March, 2020 12comments  |  Jump to last
Antonee Robinson, former Everton Academy player who was sold to Wigan Athletic last year, has been talking about a medical condition that scuppered a planned £10M move to AC Milan in January.

Robinson has not played for Wigan after the mooted transfer deal fell through 6 weeks ago when his medical in Italy revealed a form of arrhythmia — irregular heartbeat.

The tall defender had been with the Everton Academy since age 11 and was eligible to play for both England and the United States, having been born and raised in Milton Keynes, England, to an American father from White Plains, New York.

Robinson joined Wigan Athletic from Everton on a permanent deal believed to be worth around £2M in July 2019, after spending the previous season on-loan at the DW season, with many Everton fans hoping he would have made the step up to Everton's first-team. Robinson had shown good form under David Unsworth and had a very successful loan spell the season before at Bolton Wanderers, appearing for the US Mens National Team seven times, but he never played for the Everton first team.

However, impressive form for The Latics during that first half-season as a permanent player at the DW Stadium had caught the eye of scouts from AC Milan, who tempted him to contemplate advancing his career with the Italian giants.

"During my medical for a potential transfer to AC Milan on deadline day, an irregularity was picked up in my heart rhythm," he said.

"Further testing was required to ensure the move could be finalised and ratified, though there was not enough time to complete this before the transfer deadline.

"Since my return to Wigan, I have been training with the team whilst being monitored and I have undergone a period of testing and treatment. I feel absolutely fine but this is obviously an issue that needs sorting before I can play again.

"Following consultation with the club's medical staff and independent specialists, it has been decided I will need a medical procedure later this month to address the irregularity in my heart rhythm - a procedure called an ablation."

He added on Twitter that it has been, "one of the most frustrating periods of my life, I still feel fit and have been desperate to play! But everyone at Wigan has been so supportive and obviously health comes before football. Can't wait to be back playing with the boys."

Reader Comments (12)

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Paul Richards
1 Posted 13/03/2020 at 01:06:44
Football is so fickle. One minute you're playing well in Premier League and for your chosen country, and Italian scouts come calling... The next minute, you can't play the game you love because of a heart murmur you knew nothing about and that was not affecting you in any way.

At least I assume that was the case. But you have to wonder a little (a) why he never played for Everton's first team; and (b) why we sold him for a relatively meagre fee to Wigan?

Considering the number of times his name has been mentioned on these pages as Digne seems to fall short in his succession to Baines, you have to wonder about the real back-story here. Surely this kind of problem would have been spotted by Wigan in their medical? And could it be something Everton already know about???

Kieran Kinsella
2 Posted 13/03/2020 at 01:12:12

I sincerely hope we wouldn't cover up a serious medical issue to the detriment of the lads health/life. I know we've a poor record with Michael Ball and co but this is potentially life threatening. Please God we are not that callous as a club

Paul Kelly
3 Posted 13/03/2020 at 01:43:49
I think the Italian football federation screen for this type of thing from a young age. I once read, though not compulsory over here (at the time of the Muamba incident) not sure about now, but seeing as it wasn't picked up, I'd assume that's the case.

Best of luck to him with the ablation, it doesn't always work, I know from personal experience. Should it fail, that could be the end of his career.

Alan J Thompson
4 Posted 13/03/2020 at 04:24:13
Why was this never picked up by Everton? Surely it hasn't developed only since he joined Wigan.
Mike Gaynes
5 Posted 13/03/2020 at 07:27:42
The problem had to have been previously missed by not only Everton and Wigan but the US national team, for which he last played in June 2019. Glad Milan caught it.

I'm a huge fan of this kid -- hope the procedure works and he can resume his career. Must be scary as hell.

Paul Hewitt
6 Posted 13/03/2020 at 21:31:17
Good luck lad. Hope your back playing soon.
John Raftery
7 Posted 14/03/2020 at 16:50:03
There are different types of arrhythmia. Millions of people suffer from it. From what I have heard, it is possible for an athlete to develop an abnormality during the course of their career. If it had been identified during his time with us, the medical people would have been required to reveal it. To have done otherwise would have been a serious breach of ethical standards.
Ed Prytherch
8 Posted 15/03/2020 at 02:11:45
About 30 years ago I was a competitive marathon runner and I developed a heart rhythm that was "abnormal" for non-endurance athletes but was common among long-distance runners. But if Antonee needs a "procedure", then maybe he has something more significant.
Paul Birmingham
9 Posted 15/03/2020 at 09:12:46
Let's hope that this medical condition can be countered and that Antoine, can lead a normal life and his football career isn't impacted.

Across the press over the years national and international, there's always a few reports each year of players at all levels of football whom collapse, during a match.

Concerning that it's not been picked up previously, but perhaps this depends if the clubs Doctors use the same standard equipment and check routines?

Perhaps this is an area that will get more focus in days, months, years to come.

Here's to a full recover your if possible and he gets back playing.

Jerome Shields
10 Posted 16/03/2020 at 21:41:36
Hope the medical procedure is successful and he is back playing soon. Still think Wigangot a gift.
Martin Reppion
11 Posted 07/04/2020 at 11:26:20
This is a sad situation for a young sportsman. England batsman James Taylor went from establishing himself in the national set up in the winter to retired by the start of the domestic season in 2016 after a similar (not sure if it's the same) condition was discovered.

With the money in sport in general, and football in particular, testing for life-threatening conditions of the heart should be mandatory. After all, they monitor and test for all other aspects of cardiovascular fitness. The health of players should be the Number One concern of any club.

Michael Kenrick
12 Posted 07/04/2020 at 12:50:01
I completely agree with you, Martin. Spot on.

However, I sadly have my reservations when it comes to the last sentiment: "The health of players should be the Number One concern of any club."

There is a very strong ideal commented on repeatedly by our posters: the need for players of grit and steel, the never-say-die, run-through-a-brick-wall, head-in-a-bandage, Dave Hickson mentality that is hugely valued by so many of us.

Perhaps that's unfortunate because it harkens back to a bygone era much favoured by our older readers, and perhaps things have changed now...

Or have they? Going off-topic a little here, but I'm sure that mental toughness must be the most difficult quality to instill into young players in these namby-pamby nanny-state times – how likely is it that they should need to 'run through the pain' and suppress the body's natural signals that perhaps there is something amiss?

I'm no athlete — far from it... but I do wonder when I read some of the horror stories about players needing pain-killing injections and other special treatments to get through or recover from the effects of each game.

Worse still for me is the pattern of serious injuries in our younger players. I've been working on their bios for our Player Profiles section and the number who suffer serious injury with long-term consequences is simply staggering to me. What is it about that small minority of players who manage to avoid serious injury? Are they not trying hard enough?

If the sentiment above is correct, then it seems something is going seriously wrong somewhere along the line.

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