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Emotional moment as Sebastian Haller comes on for first Dortmund appearance in six months after testicular cancer diagnosis

SEBASTIAN HALLER made an emotional return to the pitch six months after his testicular cancer diagnosis.

The Borussia Dortmund striker was subbed on during a club friendly against Fortuna Dusseldorf.

The Ivorian was greeted with a round of applause and cheers as he ran onto the field.

It was Haller’s first-ever appearance for the Bundesliga giants after his £28million move from Ajax last summer.

However, less than a fortnight after joining the club, he received his diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Haller felt unwell during training and went for medical examinations, which is when doctors discovered the tumour.

During his battle with cancer, Haller revealed that the hardest part was having to explain to his children that he had to go to the hospital.

He underwent four rounds of chemotherapy and had two operations before returning to training last week with an Apple watch to track all his data.

And now Haller was able to get some valuable game time into his legs against Dusseldorf.

Dortmund ran out as 5-1 winners with goals coming from Felix Passlack, Karim Adeyemi, Nico Schlotterbeck and a brace from Donyell Malen.

Dawid Kownacki did net in from the spot, but it proved to be a mere consolation goal for Dusseldorf.

Former West Ham striker Haller spoke about his journey to German outlet Bild, as he said: “I first discussed with my wife how best to explain it to our children.

“We looked online for tips and asked other people. We then found a way and explained it to them with a small video.

“The hardest part was getting them to understand that while I’m fine right now, I’m sick and need to be hospitalised – even for a few weeks or months.

“We wanted to be honest, the kids are smart and have good senses themselves, so we didn’t want to try to hide anything from them.

“Luckily, they took it well, I laughed a lot at home, played a lot with them.

“In the beginning, it wasn’t like usual, of course – my older son often wanted to jump on me, so I had to tell him: ‘not yet’. But now everything is fine.”

Haller added he did not cry when he found out the news but was instantly determined to beat the cancer.

The Ivory Coast forward continued: “I knew immediately: I have no other choice. The choices are limited.

“It won’t do you any good if you put yourself in a depression.

“So I said to myself: stay positive, bring your family and friends together. You’re not alone. So go through it together with them.

“When I got home, my wife had prepared a few small posters with the news from my family. Mum, dad, brother, sister.

“That was actually the most emotional thing. But there was also an incredible amount of uplifting news from the football world, I can’t even list everyone.

“The president of Ivory Coast was there, my former clubs and of course a lot of players, Luka Jovic and Ante Rebic also wrote to me which made me happy.”


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