STOCKHOLM/HELSINKI – Former Austrian national team player Johannes Kirisitis was diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukaemia. The national team got the message just before yesterday’s victory against Slovakia.
“Unfortunately, I have to let you know that I contracted cancer again,” Kirisitis announced through his club team, KAC Klagenfurt. “I’ve been in hospital for three weeks and already started my therapy.”
He had his first chemotherapy treatment two weeks ago and, according to doctors, the prospects of a full recovery are very good. “Also this new battle will be won,” he said.
It’s the second time Kirisitis has had cancer. One year after his first pro season with his hometown team Klagenfurt he missed the entire 2004/2005 season after being diagnosed lymphoma. But the now 27-year-old defenceman won the battle and returned to play.
He won three national championships with Klagenfurt and played 45 international games for the men’s national team. Kirisitis was part of the teams that earned promotion to the top division in 2010 and 2012, but he never played at an elite World Championship himself.
The national team heard about Kirisitis’s health just before the game against Slovakia. The Austrians won the game, 2-1.
“The whole national team’s thoughts are with Johannes, and we wish him a full recovery,” the team sent to its former member.