Christian Eriksen will not be taking the field for Inter Milan for some time, if ever at all. The talented Danish playmaker had to be resuscitated after suffering cardiac arrest during a Euro 2021 match in June 2021, but he still has not been cleared to return to action.
On Aug. 4, the 29-year-old rejoined his Inter Milan teammates for the first time since helping them win the Italian Serie A title in May. While he still has not been permitted to train, he has reportedly conducted more tests with club doctors and used the opportunity to meet the team’s executives and its new head coach.
According to a report from Italian sports daily Corriere dello Sport, he promised his teammates that “in 4-5 months I’ll be back playing.” But for that to happen in Italy, the pacemaker-like device that was surgically inserted in the wake of the cardiac episode would have to be removed, and he would have to receive clearance from Italian federation doctors.
What comes next for Christian Eriksen?
When Eriksen rejoined Inter Milan, the club issued an optimistic statement, the most recent public declaration on his condition and prognosis.
“Eriksen is doing well and is in excellent physical and mental shape,” the club’s statement read. “He will now follow the recovery program put forward by Danish doctors in Copenhagen, who will also coordinate the clinical follow-up. The Inter medical staff will naturally be kept informed and up to date throughout the process.”
But a return to action in Italy is still uncertain. Dr. Francesco Braconaro, a member of the Italian federation’s Scientific Committee, reportedly told Radio Kiss Kiss in July that Eriksen would only be cleared to play if a defibrillator that Eriksen had surgically implanted can be removed, a sign that the cause of the episode has been resolved.
If doctors determine that the device needs to remain implanted, Eriksen would have to seek out a move to another league like the Dutch Eredivisie, where playing with the device is permitted. There have already been rumors that Ajax Amsterdam would be ready to welcome back Eriksen, who starred for the club earlier in his career.
Should Eriksen have the device removed, Italian sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport estimated that it would take 6-8 months to receive clearance from the Italian federation.
How Christian Eriksen survived the cardiac arrest
Just before halftime of the Euro 2021 match between Denmark and Finland in Copenhagen, Eriksen fell face-first to the ground. His teammates were first to react to his condition with captain Simon Kjaer making sure his airways were clear and starting CPR. The medics then took over and resuscitated him with the help of a defibrillator as teammates formed a wall around him to block the dramatic scenes from the sight of the sold-out crowd and the cameras.
“He was gone, and we did cardiac resuscitation. It was a cardiac arrest,” Denmark’s team doctor said a day later. “How close were we [to losing Eriksen]? I don’t know. We got him back after one defibrillator, so that’s quite fast.”
Eriksen was then transported to a Copenhagen hospital and fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator device (ICD), which is designed to help re-establish a regular heart rhythm in case of another cardiac episode. He has also been undergoing regular tests under the care of Danish doctors.
Christian Eriksen’s career to date
The talented playmaker made his name on the club level with Dutch giant Ajax, and after five seasons, he earned a move to English Premier League club Tottenham Hotspur.
During his seventh season with the London-based club and with six months remaining on his contract, Eriksen was transferred to Italian club Inter Milan in January 2020 for a transfer fee reported to be in the $25-$30 million range. In Italy, he returned to his best form, helping Inter win the 2020-2021 Italian Serie A championship.
Eriksen debuted for Denmark in March 2010 and has accumulated 108 appearances and 36 goals for his country. Inspired by Eriksen’s survival and recovery, his Denmark teammates went on to advance all the way to the semifinals of Euro 2021.
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