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Colts Punter Rigoberto Sanchez to play Sunday just weeks after surgery to remove cancerous tumor

Sanchez returned to practice with the team on Wednesday.
Credit: WTHR
Colts punter Rigoberto Sanchez.

INDIANAPOLIS — Less than three weeks after surgery to remove a cancerous tumor, Colts Punter Rigoberto Sanchez is expected to take the field Sunday against the Texans, according to Coach Frank Reich.

"What I’m really excited to tell you is we’re expecting Rigo (Rigoberto Sanchez) to punt on Sunday," Reich said. "So we are just happy he has had a good week, got up to speed real quickly and feel confident and excited that he is slated to be back in the lineup.”

Sanchez returned to practice with the team on Wednesday.

Sanchez isn't disclosing the type or location of his cancer or if any additional treatment is needed.

He said he was moved by the outpouring of support from his teammates, from around the league and from fans.

"I was overwhelmed throughout this crazy process of ups and downs, mentally and all of it. But it helped out so much having everybody by my side," Sanchez said.

His prognosis is good. Sanchez said that while he doesn't know if he can say he is "cancer-free" yet, his doctors seem optimistic.

"Just so glad that they caught it early and it didn't spread anywhere around my body," Sanchez said.

Sanchez had first noticed something was wrong just before Thanksgiving. He spoke to the coaching staff and then the medical staff, which advised he get tested.

"It's one of those things that you never think are going to happen to you. I never thought it was gonna happen to me either 'cause I'm young, and when you're young, you think you can do anything and you're gonna be fine for a long time," said Sanchez. 

He ended up playing in the game against the Titans that Sunday. His doctor said it couldn't get any worse before his Dec. 2 surgery.