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John Metchie III, the Houston Texans’ 22-year-old wide receiver, has been diagnosed with leukemia and expects to miss the upcoming season, he announced Sunday.
Metchie, a rookie drafted out of the University of Alabama, said he has Acute Promyelocytic Leukemia, “the most curable form of leukemia.”
“I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a recovery at a later point in time,” he said in a statement released through the team.
In APL patients, too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow leads to a shortage of normal white and red blood cells and platelets in the body, according to the National Institute of Health. Between 300 and 3,000 people in the United States are currently living with APL.
Symptoms include excessive bleeding and blood clots, tiredness, pain in affected areas, loss of appetite and weight loss.
“My main focus will be on my health and recovery,” Metchie said.
“Thank you in advance for your support and well-wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God Bless.”
Metchie was the 44th overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft after missing part of his junior year with a torn ACL.
“John has overcome every challenge placed in front of him in his life with toughness and determination, and we are behind him every step of the way in his fight against Leukemia,” Nick Saban, the head football coach at the University of Alabama, said in a statement Sunday.
“It’s a blessing that he is in a city known for great care and with an organization, in the Houston Texans, who will be with him throughout this journey. Our thoughts and prayers will remain with him throughout this battle.”