John Metchie III, a rookie wide receiver for the Houston Texans, said Sunday he had been diagnosed with leukemia, and would likely not be playing in what would have been his first season in the NFL.
Metchie, 22, said in a statement he was recently diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia, which he called "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," Metchie said. "As a result of this diagnosis, I will likely not be playing football this season. My main focus will be on my health and recovery."
Actue promyelocytic leukemia is a type of cancer where there are "too many immature blood-forming cells in the blood and bone marrow," according to the Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center.
This type of leukemia is considered to be the most curable form of adult leukemia, with facilities specializing in treatment of APL reporting cure rates of 90%, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Metchie became a star at the University of Alabama, where he totaled 155 passes for 2,081 yards and 14 touchdowns during his three seasons playing for the school.
Nick Saban, Alabama's football coach, expressed support for the former player in a statement Sunday.
“John has overcome every obstacle 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,” Saban said. “It’s a blessing that he’s in a city known for great medical care, and with an organization in the Houston Texans who will be with him throughout this journey.”
The Texans chose Metchie as the 44th overall pick earlier this year in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Texans placed him on the non-football illness list following Sunday's announcement.