‘Too early’ to know if Casillas will play after heart attack

Iker Casillas is expected to fully recover from a heart attack but Porto’s doctor said it was too early to know if the veteran goalkeeper will keep playing professionally.

Casillas remained in the hospital on Thursday, a day after falling ill during practice and undergoing a catheterisation.

Dr Nelson Puga said the future of the 37-year-old goalie will depend on several factors.

“It’s too early to say anything. It will depend on the medication that he will need to take, on the evaluation of the physical demands of his profession, and also on his will to keep playing,” Puga told Porto’s official TV channel.

“Only after carefully taking all that into consideration will it be possible to decide whether he will continue and whether he wants to continue.”

Casillas said everything was “under control” and despite “a big scare” he was still feeling strong.

Puga said “luckily” the heart attack was diagnosed quickly after Casillas arrived at the hospital, and the goalkeeper was not expected to sustain any long-term damage.

He said the doctors who treated Casillas “thankfully had good hands, just like Casillas in goal”.

Casillas’s agent, Carlo Cutropia, told Spanish media the goalkeeper started feeling chest pain and problems with his mouth and arms nearly halfway through practice at Porto’s training centre.

“This is more important than winning a World Cup,” Cutropia said. “It’s the greatest victory of his life, the biggest save of his life.”

He said Casillas was feeling upbeat and was joking around in the hospital.

Casillas recently had his contract with Porto extended until the end of the 2019-20 season, with an option for another one-year extension.

He joined the Portuguese club in 2015 after 16 seasons with Real Madrid, which he helped to win five Spanish league titles and three Champions League trophies.

Casillas also helped Spain win one World Cup and two European Championships.

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