Australia’s Jesse Williams says he’s a fighter and will battle to return to the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks after undergoing surgery for kidney cancer.
The discovery of papillary type two cancer comes just as the 24-year-old 191cm tall, 148kg defensive tackle from Brisbane overcame multiple knee surgeries that halted his NFL career with the Seahawks the past two seasons.
The coming 2015/16 NFL season was supposed to be his chance to finally achieve his goal of putting on a Seahawks helmet and play in an NFL regular season game.
“Although disappointing, I am a fighter and will handle this,” said Williams, known by the nickname Tha Monstar.
“I am going to focus on my health and fighting this battle with a return to football as my ultimate goal.
“Thank you for your thoughts and support.”
The Seahawks were planning to have Williams help them overcome last year’s shattering Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots when quarterback Russell Wilson threw a potential championship-winning pass that was instead intercepted.
“Jesse is an extraordinarily tough individual who has overcome a great deal in his life and we will support him in any way possible,” Seahawks general manager John Schneider said.
“He is in our thoughts and prayers.”
In March Williams was surprisingly cut by the Seahawks, but they re-signed him soon after to a restructured contract.
In his personal life Williams and his personal trainer fiancee Sarah Danae Lawrence announced they were expecting a son.
Despite being on the sidelines, Williams still picked up a Super Bowl ring in 2014 when the Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 43-8 in the Super Bowl.
After a stellar two years at the University of Alabama, the Seahawks drafted Williams in the fifth round in 2013 and he signed a four-year $US2.371 million contract.