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Hayes to take break after undergoing emergency hysterectomy

Chelsea Women manager Emma Hayes says she will "need time and patience to return to full health" after undergoing an emergency hysterectomy.

In a statement, Hayes said: "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.

"I just want to say thank you also to my amazing doctors, Dr Alex Laurence and Dr Sally Harris for their outstanding care. A huge thank you to our owners, the board and our HR director, Jo Stone, for the support they've shown and of course all of my family, staff and players."

Hayes, 45, expects to make a full recovery although did not specify when she might return to the dugout. A hysterectomy is a major surgical procedure to remove the womb and has a long recovery time.

"Throughout my absence, Denise Reddy (assistant) will be making the on-field decisions along with Paul Green (general manager) who will be carrying out all press obligations on my behalf," Hayes said.

"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. 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.

"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. I fully expect to make a full recovery and I look forward to seeing you in the foreseeable future."

Chelsea's next three games are away in the WSL to Everton on Sunday and Brighton, live on Sky Sports, either side of a trip to PSG in the Champions League.

Hayes has led Chelsea for 10 years, winning five Women's Super League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and reaching a Champions League final.

Chelsea are currently fourth in the WSL after two wins and a defeat from their opening three games.

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