Sassuolo defender Francesco Acerbi was to undergo medical treatment for the recurrence of testicular cancer that appears to have caused him to fail a drug test, the Serie A club said late Friday.

Acerbi appeared to have recovered after undergoing an operation and treatment for testicular cancer in July, but Sassuolo said that tests this week showed the recurrence of the illness.

The 25-year-old footballer was to miss a second game Sunday after being suspended for testing positive for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG). It is rated performance-enhancing but can also be produced by the body if there is a cancerous tumour.

Acerbi said he will appeal against the ban.

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