Emma Hayes: Chelsea manager has emergency hysterectomy because of endometriosis
Chelsea boss Emma Hayes will take time away from the club as she recovers from an emergency hysterectomy.
In a statement, five-time WSL winner Hayes told fans she would “need time and patience to return to full health”.
“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,” Hayes said.
Assistant manager Denise Reddy will take charge of the reigning Women’s Super League champions in Hayes’ absence, with general manager Paul Green carrying out media duties.
A club statement said: “Everybody at Chelsea would like to wish Emma a speedy recovery and we will continue to support her during this time.”
A hysterectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the womb which can take out areas of tissue causing endometrial pain.
Hayes has publicly advocated for greater awareness of endometriosis, which affects around one in 10 women and can cause debilitating pain and heavy periods.
The day before winning her first WSL title in 2015, Hayes had a procedure in hospital to remove a contraceptive coil which had been inserted to relieve the symptoms of the illness.
“I can see why women go out of their minds before diagnosis – I can totally relate to that,” Hayes told the Telegraphexternal-link 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.”
Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall was among those responding to the statement with messages of support for Hayes, who has become one of the most respected coaches in football and turned Chelsea into the dominant force in the English game since her appointment in 2012.
“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,” said Hayes.
“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.”
Chelsea have won two of their opening three WSL games this season and visit Everton on Sunday.
What is endometriosis?