Borussia Dortmund midfielder Jude Bellingham has hailed Hertha Berlin’s Marco Richter as a “hero” following the latter’s return to Bundesliga action after being diagnosed with a malignant testicular tumour earlier this year.
Richter’s illness was detected in the summer, but was discovered early enough to mean that no chemotherapy was required. The tumour was successfully removed via surgery, and the 24-year-old spent the subsequent weeks recovering before returning to light training at the beginning of August.
He missed Hertha’s first two Bundesliga games of the season and was an unused substitute on Matchday 3, before making his comeback in the 75th minute of the 1-0 defeat at home to Dortmund last weekend.
Richter very nearly secured a draw for his side with a long-range effort that BVB goalkeeper Gregor Kobel managed to tip onto the crossbar. “It’s a shame it only hit the woodwork and didn’t go in,” he said afterwards. “Otherwise that would’ve been an even better comeback.
“I’m delighted to be back. It was a special occasion today, even if I would have preferred to have won. I’m thinking positively about the future.”
Bellingham did his part to add an extra grain of optimism by interrupting a post-match interview he was conducting to greet Richter as he walked past, calling him a “hero”.
Watch: Bellingham hails "hero" Richter
The England youngster, and indeed everyone in the Bundesliga and beyond, will be hoping for a similarly positive outcome for Dortmund teammate Sebastien Haller, who is currently undergoing treatment after also being diagnosed with a malignant testicular tumour.
The 28-year-old provided an update on his health on Tuesday, stating that he was “feeling really good” and looking forward to “playing in front of the Yellow Wall and scoring my first goal in front of them”.
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