Chelsea women’s manager Emma Hayes is to take time away from the club after revealing on Thursday that she has undergone an emergency hysterectomy.
Hayes is one of the most respected coaches in women’s game having led the Blues to five Women’s Super League titles, four FA Cups and the 2021 Champions League final.
Her assistant Denise Reddy will take interim charge of the English champions.
“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,” Hayes said in a statement.
“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.”
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb which can take out areas of tissue causing endometrial pain.
Hayes has previously advocated for greater awareness of endometriosis, which can cause debilitating pain and heavy periods.
“I can see why women go out of their minds before diagnosis – I can totally relate to that,” Hayes told the Telegraph last year.
“I completely appreciate the suffering but I refuse to let it get on top of me. I feel the pain but I refuse to let it take over.”
In a statement, Chelsea said: “Everybody at Chelsea FC would like to wish Emma a speedy recovery and we will continue to offer her our full support during this time.”
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