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Indianapolis Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez to play Sunday, less than 3 weeks after tumor removed – ESPN

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez has gone from not knowing his NFL future to being days away from playing again less than three weeks after having a cancerous tumor removed.

Sanchez will resume handling punting and kickoff duties in Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans, coach Frank Reich said Friday.

“Great training staff, working with great doctors and guys who are mature,” Reich said. “Those three things are all important, and we’re very fortunate to have the people that we do.”

Sanchez, who declined to say the type of cancer he was dealing with, noticed something wasn’t right while doing some dry swings before kicking off in practice Nov. 25. An ultrasound and MRI revealed a tumor. Sanchez still played, albeit only punting, in the Nov. 29 loss to the Tennessee before undergoing surgery Dec. 1.

“I wasn’t going to do that to my team,” Sanchez said earlier this week. “It’s all about the team. At the end of the day, I don’t think they would have been able to get a punter in in time, and it wasn’t going to be any worse. That was already worst-case scenario. I was going to fight through the pain, whatever it was.”

Sanchez said doctors have told him things are looking “pretty good” and that his “numbers are definitely lower.” He returned to the facility and practiced this week.

“I’m just fortunate enough to move around all the time, use my body in all sorts of ways,” Sanchez said. “It’s crazy because I think [Reich] mentioned saying that if I was doing some kind of desk work, maybe I wouldn’t have caught it right away. I’m just fortunate to be young and be able to do what I do, and that’s play football here. I was just fortunate enough to catch it in time, and after that, doctors took the lead and I just followed. I’m just grateful that they caught it early.”

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