Everton academy coach Kevin Sheedy has been diagnosed with bowel cancer.
The 52-year-old will undergo surgery later this week and is expected to be absent from Finch Farm for some time.
"It's not ideal but I have to remain positive," said Sheedy. "After a period of rehabilitation I will return to my coaching role at Everton."
The former Republic of Ireland and Toffees midfielder was keen to highlight the importance of people being aware of getting an early diagnosis if they experienced any problems.
"There is a history in the family," he told evertonfc.com.
"It's so important that people don't ignore the early signs and symptoms and don't be afraid to consult a GP."