Terrible news for one of Toronto’s top prospects.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas announced in a statement on Wednesday morning that forward and 2020 first-round draft pick Rodion Amirov has been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
Amirov is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment in Germany and will not return to play for the remainder of the season.
While playing with Salavat Ufa of the KHL early this season, Amirov suffered a collarbone injury and a concussion during a game that kept him out of the lineup for nine weeks. After submitting to initial medical tests, doctors saw something in Amirov’s results that concerned them and requested that he return for further examination as soon as possible. The Omicron variant outbreak in mid-November, however, made travel difficult, leaving Amirov unable to return to Germany for a number of weeks.
Shortly after slotting back into the lineup in early January, Amirov began experiencing further symptoms such as dizziness and blurred vision, and, after finally being granted permission to travel, was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
According to his agent Dan Milstein, Amirov is apparently in “good spirits” despite his diagnosis and is skating three times per week while conducting daily workouts. The goal, Milstein says, is for Amirov to return to professional hockey as soon as possible
“I’m living a normal life,” Amirov told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman in an interview published on Wednesday.
“I’m continuing to practice, to skate, to go to the gym. The doctors support [that] I continue on. I shoot, work on my hands, basically the same drills I would do normally, but by myself.”
In that interview with Sportsnet, Amirov made a concerted effort to praise both the Maple Leafs and Salavat Ufa organizations for their unconditional support during this difficult time, and for helping him gain access to the best treatment available.
Needless to say, the entire hockey world is behind Amirov as he fights this terrible disease.