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Former Tide player Metchie diagnosed with leukemia

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Houston Texans rookie and former Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III doesn’t expect to play during the 2022 NFL season after being diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.

The Texans released a statement from Metchie on Sunday afternoon:

“Recently I was diagnosed with APL (acute promyelocytic leukemia), the most curable form of leukemia,” Metchie said. “I am currently receiving great medical care, am in good spirits and I expect to make a full recovery at a later point in time. 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. Thank you in advance for your support and well-wishes. I cannot wait to come back stronger than ever. God bless.”

Houston selected Metchie from Alabama in the second round of the NFL Draft on April 29. The Texans traded the 68th, 108th and 124th selections in this year’s draft to jump ahead 24 slots to obtain Metchie with the 44th pick, despite the possibility that the wide receiver would have a delayed start to his NFL career after sustaining a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Crimson Tide’s 41-24 victory over Georgia in the SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4.

Metchie caught 96 passes for 1,142 yards and eight touchdowns for Alabama in 2021 after having 55 receptions for 916 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. He was expected to fill the role of Houston’s slot receiver when healthy.

The Texans released Metchie’s statement on the day that Houston’s rookies reported for their first NFL training camp.

According to the National Institutes of Health’s Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center, acute promyelocytic leukemia occurs when “there are too many immature blood-forming cells (promyelocytes) in the blood and bone marrow. This buildup of promyelocytes leads to a shortage of normal white and red blood cells and platelets in the body.

“The signs and symptoms of APL include an increased risk to both bleed and form blood clots. Individuals may also experience excessive tiredness, pain in affected areas, loss of appetite and weight loss.”

The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society calls APL “the most curable form of adult leukemia” with cure rates of 90 percent at centers specializing in treatment of the disease.

The NIH estimated the number of people affected by APL in the United States as between 300 and 3,000.


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