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Mihajlovic’s journey from leukaemia diagnosis to relapse

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic announced he will go back into hospital for treatment after signs his leukaemia was returning, echoing the initial conference to reveal his illness in July 2019.

The Serbian turned 53 last month and had seemed to be in excellent health, regaining the weight and hair he had lost during the gruelling cycles of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.

He said in his press conference today that there were only signs in tests that the illness might be returning, so his medics would take pre-emptive action to “nip it in the bud.”

The leukaemia was spotted in the summer of 2019, with Mihajlovic announcing the news on July 13 to a stunned group of reporters.

He emerged to be greeted in a hug by Bologna ultras, who stood by him throughout the battle.

Pre-season training was taken on by his staff, with videolinks set up so the coach could keep in touch with everyone from his hospital bed.

Mihajlovic re-appeared for the first time on August 25, 2019, keeping a promise he made his players to be on the touchline for the opening game of the Serie A season against Verona.

The bone marrow transplant took place on October 29, a date Miha now calls his ‘second birthday’, as it allowed him to return to life.

He was passed fit for a return to the bench on December 8, 2019, in a defeat to Milan, and has slowly been getting stronger and fitter, even shaking off a COVID-19 infection in the summer of 2021.

The Sinisa of old even began to reappear, complete with furious anger, swearing and being generally obnoxious in post-match interviews, with reports he was on the verge of the sack.

On Monday March 28, Mihajlovic will return to the Sant’Orsola hospital in Bologna to resume treatment.

You will get through this, Coach ❤️💙

— Bologna FC 1909 (@BolognaFC1909en) March 26, 2022

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