Oxford United's teenage star, Jamie Brooks, is recovering in the John Radcliffe Hospital after being struck down by a mystery virus.

The 18-year-old striker, who swept the board at United's end-of-season player of the year awards, was taken ill at the weekend.

A hospital spokesman yesterday described his condition as "stable".

United manager Ian Atkins said: "Jamie has been knocked sideways by a virus. It has been a long season for him.

"We threw him in when he had not had a lot of training. It has been an exciting time for him, especially with him being a young lad, and people and the fans don't realise what it has taken out of him."

When asked whether the virus was thought to be serious, Atkins said: "I am not a medical expert, but not that I can gather."

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