Aston Villa players are shocked by Stiliyan Petrov's diagnosis.

Petrov, 32, was yesterday diagnosed with acute leukaemia - cancer of the blood - and rushed to a London hospital to begin immediate treatment for the condition.

Striker Darren Bent said: "Really sad news to hear about our captain Stan Petrov, hopefully he'll be back fighting fit soon. Thoughts are with him and his family. KTF."

Keeper Shay Given tweeted: "In shock about Stiliyan but we are all here for him and his family. Please God he makes a full recovery, pray for Stan."

Midfielder Barry Bannan, who grew up watching Petrov at Celtic, added: "Stan my hero, get well soon mate."