Chargers' Russell Okung announces Week 7 return after recovering from pulmonary embolism

Russell Okung, Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle, relayed a joyous message Thursday afternoon on Twitter. After being out of commission for months, he’s ready to return to action on Sunday.

Okung, 31, suffered a pulmonary embolism in June and has been working his way back ever since. His injury wasn’t revealed at the time, and Okung himself tweeted about it in late July. On June 1 he experienced chest pain after practice and decided to go to the emergency room out of an “abundance of caution.” Tests revealed he’d suffered a pulmonary embolism caused by blood clots that traveled to one of the arteries in his lungs. Doctors later told him that the decision to be cautious likely saved his life.

It’s been a long road back for Okung, and no one was sure if he’d be able to return ever, let alone for Week 7 (which is the earliest he was eligible to return from the non-football injury list). An update on his status was promised on Wednesday, but when Wednesday came, head coach Anthony Lynn had no update. Via the Los Angeles Daily News:

“Well, I thought I’d have an update for you today on Russell Okung, but I really don’t. I can tell you this — he’s not going to practice today. It’ll be day-to-day from here on out. I have no update. This stuff will play itself out over the next couple days, I believe. Right now, I just don’t have an update for you.”

With Okung’s announcement on Thursday, it appears that things changed pretty quickly. However, it’s not clear if Okung is actually going to play in Week 7 when the Chargers face the Tennessee Titans. He hasn’t played in a single game this year and hasn’t practiced in months.

Considering that Okung could have lost his life in June, it doesn’t matter whether or not he plays on Sunday. It’s a triumph that he’s healthy and ready to get back to football.

Russell Okung is ready to get back in action after suffering a pulmonary embolism in June. (Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports)

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