Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukemia. Reuters

Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia, the club announced in a statement on their official Web site.

The player's condition was diagnosed following tests conducted after the 32-year-old developed a fever following last weekend's match against Arsenal.

"The Villa board received news today that our long-standing captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukaemia," read the statement, which added, "Stiliyan developed a fever following the Arsenal game last Saturday and subsequently underwent tests. Haematology experts confirmed the diagnosis today."

The midfielder, who also captains the Bulgarian national team, joined Villa from Scottish side Celtic back in 2006 and has made 185 league appearances for the Birmingham-based club.

"We expect to learn more about Stiliyan's situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family. During this time we ask that Stiliyan's privacy is placed ahead of all inquiries and trust that we will share information as we receive it. Stiliyan is cherished by many and he will get from Villa every ounce of love and support that we have to help bring this to a positive conclusion," the club added.

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