Chelsea Women's manager Emma Hayes has emergency hysterectomy and forced to step away from football to recover | The Sun

CHELSEA women's manager Emma Hayes has been forced to take a break from football after undergoing an emergency hysterectomy.

Denise Reddy will step in and make the on-field decisions while Hayes, who has been battling endometriosis, recovers.

Paul Green will also be playing his part, carrying out all press obligations on Hayes' behalf.

Hayes, 45, says she expects to make a full recovery and has called on her team to "respond to the challenge" of her absence.

An official statement from Hayes, via Chelseafc.com, reads: "Last Tuesday I underwent an emergency hysterectomy following my ongoing battle with endometriosis.

"I’m now in recovery and will need time and patience to return to full health.

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"I just want to say thank you also to my amazing doctors, Dr Alex Laurence and Dr Sally Harris for their outstanding care.

"A huge thank you to our owners, the board and our HR director, Jo Stone, for the support they’ve shown and of course all of my family, staff and players.

"Throughout my absence, Denise Reddy will be making the on-field decisions along with Paul Green who will be carrying out all press obligations on my behalf.

"We have built a tremendous team over many years and we’ve adopted a very multi-disciplinary approach so that if situations like this arise, we are capable of being able to respond to the challenge. We have full confidence in Paul, Denise and all of the staff.

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"We also know the team are very special and we have no doubt they’ll do everything to maintain their high standards.

"To our fans, you’ve had to listen to me bellowing from the other side of the pitch every week but now I want to hear you even louder because I’ll be sitting at home watching the team on the television until my return.

"I know you’ll respect that my health comes first and at this time I’ve got to prioritise what I need to do for me.

"I fully expect to make a full recovery and I look forward to seeing you in the foreseeable future.

"All the best, Your Manager Emma."

Endometriosis is a chronic condition which occurs when tissue from the lining of the womb is found outside of the womb – in areas of the body including the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the abdomen and the bladder.

Around one-in-ten women are believed to be affected by endometriosis, which can affect fertility.

Emma, who is mum to four-year-old Harry, has spoken previously about her struggles with the condition, describing it as a silent disease, and saying: "I feel the pain, but I refuse to let it take over."

She has also called on the game to do more to recognise the condition, and how players' menstrual cycles and hormonal health can affect performance levels.

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Chelsea find themselves fourth in the Women's Super League after three games played.

The Blues lost their opening game 2-1 to Liverpool, but responded well with wins over Manchester City and West Ham.

What causes endometriosis?

The exact cause of the condition isn't known, but it's thought it could be hereditary or due to environmental factors – namely the presence of dioxins in the environment.

Meanwhile, other experts believe it could be caused by a process called retrograde menstruation, which is when the womb lining flows backwards through the Fallopian tubes into the abdomen, instead of leaving the body as a period.

Endometriosis can sometimes cause damage to the Fallopian tubes or ovaries, leading to fertility problems.

Other complications can include painful ovarian cysts and adhesions – areas of tissue which can fuse organs together.

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