Babayaro's Pompey hopes hit by malaria

July 16, 2008

Celestine Babayaro's hopes of resurrecting his career at Portsmouth have been hit by a bout of malaria.

The 29-year-old former Chelsea and Newcastle full-back was on trial at Pompey last week with a view to securing a permanent deal.

But the Nigerian is now recovering in a Chelsea hospital after being diagnosed with the tropical disease, which he contracted during a visit to his home country.

Manager Harry Redknapp told the Portsmouth News: 'It's awful for the lad. He's got malaria at the moment after picking it up while back home.

'He didn't feel that great last week but he did alright. We have done a lot of physical training and he performed okay.

'But he's not with us at the moment. He's in a Chelsea hospital recovering.

'For his own sake, I hope he recovers. We wish the lad all the best.

'Nothing will be happening on the football front at the moment. We have just got to wait for him to get better - and I really hope he does.'

Both Lomana LuaLua and Ayegbeni Yakubu suffered from the same illness during their time at Fratton Park.