Stiliyan Petrov has acute leukemia

Updated: March 30, 2012, 12:10 PM ET
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Aston Villa says club captain Stiliyan Petrov has been diagnosed with acute leukemia.

The Premier League club says the 32-year-old Bulgaria midfielder developed a fever following last Saturday's game against Arsenal and underwent tests. The leukemia diagnosis was confirmed Friday.

The club says "we expect to learn more about Stiliyan's situation in due course and we have moved quickly to support him and his family."

The statement adds that Petrov "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."

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press