Jimenez hopeful on Sanchez heart scare

MADRID - Sevilla may tap this month's transfer market to replace defender Sergio Sanchez who has been sidelined with a heart condition, president Jose Maria del Nido said on Saturday.

The 23-year-old, who usually plays at right back, has been ordered by doctors to stop all physical activity and to undergo further tests.

"The news did not arrive all of a sudden; he's a young kid, with a splendid future and a meteoric career and the fact he has had this setback now is a blow," Del Nido told a news conference before Saturday's match at Atletico Madrid.

"It implies that we will reconsider the player's situation and confirm whether his absence is definitive," he added. "In that case, we would also consider strengthening that position."

Coach Manolo Jimenez said Sanchez's condition was hopefully only a scare.

The news of his heart problem has shocked the players, who had to cope with the death just over two years ago of midfielder Antonio Puerta, Jimenez said on Sevilla's website.

Puerta collapsed during a game and later died after a prolonged cardiac arrest.

"Imagine (how we feel) considering what we have been through here," Jimenez said.

"With the precedents that there are it's wise to be cautious and you have to congratulate the doctors and cardiologists who examined him," he added.