Kevin Alston of the New England Revolution has taken an indefinite leave of absence after being diagnosed with leukemia.
The MLS team announced Monday that the five-year veteran defender will take the leave to undergo treatment for chronic myelogenous leukemia. The team said that the condition is rare and treatable and that Alston, 24, will not be hospitalized. He expects to return to the team, the Revolution said.
"The Revolution fully supports Kevin as he begins treatment,'' Revolution general manager Michael Burns said in a statement. "Right now, the most important thing for Kevin, and his family, is to concentrate on returning to full health. Kevin's had a tremendous attitude since the diagnosis and his positivity is an inspiration for all of us.''
Alston has started all 116 games in which he's played since being taken by the Revolution out of Indiana with the 10th pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft. He started in the 2010 MLS All-Star game and is eighth in starts in Revolution history. He has no goals and four assists in his career.
He has started all four games at left back this season.