Houston Texans safety Andre Hal has been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, the team announced Friday.
The team said Hal received a preliminary diagnosis from team physician Dr James Muntz at Houston Methodist Hospital.
Hal and the team’s medical staff are in consultation with doctors at MD Anderson Cancer Center as the 26-year-old undergoes future testing while discussing treatment options.
“My faith in God and the support from my family, friends, team-mates and coaches will see me through this difficult time,” Hal said in a statement released by the Texans.
“I will not let this diagnosis stop me from fulfilling my dreams and I do not want anyone to feel sorry for me. I know how to beat this and I will beat it.”
Hal started all 16 games for the Texans last season and had 71 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles.
He has nine career interceptions in 61 games (38 starts) since entering the NFL in 2014.
“Andre is tough and faithful and we believe he is prepared to win this fight. The McNair family as well as the entire Texans organisation will continue to be there for him, love and support him, and pray for his recovery.”
Houston coach Bill O’Brien feels Hal’s optimistic nature will aid him in fighting the disease.
“The news of Andre Hal’s diagnosis weighs heavy on the hearts of everyone in the Houston Texans family,” O’Brien said in a statement.
“Andre epitomizes what it means to be a Houston Texan through his leadership, community involvement and team-first attitude.
“We are confident that Andre’s resiliency and infectious positivity, along with treatment and care from the best medical community in the world, will guide him through his recovery. The entire Texans organisation is behind Andre and his family during this difficult time and we look forward to his eventual return to the team.”
Texans star defensive end J.J. Watt weighed in on his Twitter account: “One of the best in the business in and off the field. A truly great man, teammate and friend. We’ll be with you every step of the way brother.”