Christian Eriksen’s return to professional football with Inter Milan looks unlikely after a member of the Italian football federation’s medical committee warned that the Danish star could not play with a defibrillator fitted.
Eriksen, 29, collapsed on the pitch during his country’s opening game at Euro 2020 in June after suffering a cardiac arrest. He has since been fitted with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD).
The device is fitted under the skin and keeps track of a patient’s heart rate. If an abnormal rhythm is detected, the ICD delivers an electric shock to restore a normal heartbeat.
Stringent Italian rules mean there are medical restrictions on who can compete as a professional athlete, with checks conducted by the football federation (FIGC), rather than the clubs.
According to Francesco Braconaro, a member of the technical scientific committee (CTS) of the FIGC, that would rule Eriksen out of a return to football in Italy.
“Christian Eriksen cannot be given the all-clear to play in Italy,” Braconaro said on a radio show in Napoli.
“If the player has the defibrillator removed, therefore confirming the pathology can be resolved, then he can return to play for Inter.”
Similar sentiments have previously been voiced by Lucio Mos, the president of the Italian Society for Sports Cardiology.
Eriksen has been offered widespread support throughout his ordeal, including from fellow footballer Daley Blind.
The Dutch international has also had an ICD fitted, although Blind plays his club football with Ajax in his homeland, where the rules differ.
In an initial statement made through his manager after his collapse – which came during the first half in Copenhagen in Denmark’s match with Finland – Eriksen had said he would “not give up.”
“Thank you, I won’t give up. I feel better now – but I want to understand what’s happened,” the former Tottenham star said.
“I want to say thank you all for what you did for me,” he added in a message of gratitude to the medical staff and others who had rushed to his aid.
Eriksen has since been photographed in Denmark with a young fan strolling on a beach, but has not posted on his own social media accounts since mid-June.
Eriksen joined Inter Milan from English Premier League team Tottenham in January of 2020, and helped the club to a first Serie A title in 11 years when they claimed the Scudetto under Antonio Conte last season.
Eriksen joined the San Siro giants on a deal which runs until the summer of 2024.