Lincoln City boss Michael Appleton has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and will undergo surgery on Wednesday.
“There are some pretty scary words in that sentence. But it’s a pretty routine operation and the indications are that I should be back on my feet in no time.”
Appleton guided Lincoln to League One play-off final last season.
They finished fifth in the regular season, but were beaten by Blackpool at Wembley after a memorable victory over Sunderland in the semifinals.
Appleton became the boss of Imps in September 2019, the fifth club in the English Football League he has managed after stints at Portsmouth, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Oxford United.
“I need a little break and after the operation it will take a few weeks to recover,” added the former Preston midfielder.
“It means I won’t be in the canoe for some of our preseason games, but I will be liaising closely with the coaching staff as we continue preparations for the campaign.”
General manager Liam Scully said they will give him as much time as he needs to recover.
“It goes without saying that the most important thing is Michael’s health, and we will provide all the support possible. Football is our secondary concern at times like this,” said Scully.
“He will want to come back as soon as possible, but I want to be clear that he will have as much free time as he needs and we absolutely don’t want to see him again until he is ready.
“Plans for the new season are well advanced. Michael has led them and they will continue on the right track. We are all looking forward to the new season and are right behind Michael, on and off the pitch.”