Former Portland Timbers and Necaxa forward Brian Fernandez will undergo treatment from medical specialists in a bid to get his spiraling career back on track, current club Colon announced Thursday in a statement.
The 25-year-old had his contract with the Timbers rescinded last November, after the Argentine had voluntarily entered the MLS Substance Abuse and Behavorial Health Program in October. And now he has problems at Colon.
"It's been decided that we will appoint a team of specialists in different medical disciplines in order to provide the necessary support to the player and his family's environment," read the statement from Colon.
Fernandez had previously tested positive for cocaine after a Copa Libertadores game and was suspended for two years (the second year being deferred) in 2015, but got his career back on track, shining in Mexico with Necaxa, from where he sealed a big-money move to Portland Timbers in May 2019.
The former Racing striker signed for his home-town club Colon in Santa Fe after leaving Portland, but has only played 31 minutes since returning to Argentina and has already been plagued with off-field problems.
Fernandez went missing in late January and family members reportedly alerted the local police, but the player spoke to a local radio station on Jan. 25 to say he was safe and was laying low at his friend's house because of treats he'd received since returning from the United States. He added he hadn't been able to speak to his mother since he'd gone into hiding.
"I've been here for a number of days, I can't go out onto the street because of the threats I'm receiving," said Fernandez, who had missed a week of training at Colon.
The forward returned to training and made his debut for boyhood club Colon on Feb. 2, coming on in the 59th minute against Banfield, but since then he's again missed training and stated Tuesday that he was robbed at gunpoint.
Fernandez told Argentine outlet TyC Sports that he'd had made a joke on social media that provoked fans of Colon's rival Union Santa Fe and stated he believes that it was the cause of the robbery.
"He pointed a pistol to my head and took my watch," Fernandez said. "Obviously I was shocked, I got into the truck and I wanted to go. When I set off they threw a brick at the truck."
With the player's situation complicated at best, Colon, Fernandez and his agent have decided to act.
Colon confirmed reports that Fernandez had been separated from the squad and the player will now receive specialist help to "reinstate the minimum conditions necessary so he can continue his professional career," read the statement.
"Colon will make every necessary effort and make available all possible means to try to resolve the complex situation Brian is going through, prioritizing his personal and family's well-being so that he can come back into football, which he has always said contributes greatly to his happiness and development," it continued.