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Former Alabama wide receiver John Metchie III said on Sunday that he was diagnosed with leukemia and will probably not play in his first NFL season with the Houston Texans.

The Texans released this statement from Metchie: “Recently I was diagnosed with APL (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. 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."

Metchie, who was born in Ghana and moved to Canada as an infant, played three seasons for the Crimson Tide. In his final two seasons, Metchie had a combined 151 catches for 2,058 yards with 14 touchdowns. He had the game-winning catch in the 2021 Iron Bowl victory. He tore his ACL in the SEC championship game victory over Georgia. He was a two-time winner of the Jon Comish Trophy, which signifies the top Canadian in NCAA football.

“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,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban said in a statement released by the university. “It’s a blessing that he is in a city known for great medical 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.”

Metchie was drafted in the second round (44th player overall) by the Houston Texans in April.

According to rarediseases.org, APL “is a blood cancer characterized by a marked increase in a type of white blood cells known as promyelocytes, a type of immature white blood cell. It develops in about 600 to 800 individuals each year in the United States, most often in adults around the age of 40.”

To connect with the author of this story, or to comment, email steve.irvine@1819news.com.

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