Blind set to return to Ajax squad after heart condition diagnosis

The Dutchman is likely to be included in Erik ten Hag's plans for a meeting with Utrecht in the Eredivisie this weekend

Daley Blind is expected to feature in Ajax's matchday squad against Utrecht on Sunday, after being diagnosed with a heart condition which has kept him out of action for the last two months.

Blind was medically examined after suffering from dizziness during a Champions League defeat to Valencia on December 10.

The 29-year-old was subsequently diagnosed with heart muscle inflammation, also known as cardiomyopathy, and has not played for Ajax since.

The Netherlands international was forced to undergo a multitude of tests, with doctors eventually fitting a subcutaneous implantable cardioverter-defibrillator, which is designed to regulate abnormal heart rhythms.

The device will prevent any possible episodes of cardiac arrest, allowing Blind to return to the pitch sooner than originally expected.

The former Manchester United midfielder returned to full training with the rest of the Ajax squad this week, and may well be handed some minutes at Stadion Galgenwaard this weekend.

Having Blind back will surely come as a boost to supporters and head coach Erik ten Hag, as the reigning Dutch champions continue to fight for silverware on multiple fronts.

Blind was a fixture in the Ajax starting line up before his diagnosis, featuring in 25 matches across all competitions in the first half of the season.

Ajax have managed to stay out in front of their rivals in the Eredivisie in his absence, but they only have a three-point lead over second-placed Feyenoord at the top of the table at the moment.

Ten Hag's side have a KNVB Cup quarter-final meeting with Vitesse to look forward to this month, as well as a round of 32 Europa League tie against La Liga outfit Getafe.

Ajax picked up a much-needed 1-0 victory over arch-rivals PSV last time out, bouncing back from a defeat at Groningen the previous week thanks to a first-half goal from Quincy Promes.

They will be expected to pick up another three points against Utrecht, who currently sit in seventh in the Eredivisie standings.

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