Former Buffalo Bills star Jim Kelly is having surgery Friday to remove a cyst pressing against his spinal cord, his wife, Jill, reported on Instagram.
Kelly recently told The Buffalo News he has been in "excruciating" pain because of the cyst located between his L4 and L5 vertebrae.
“My family's been yelling at me for a long time, but I kept putting it off, putting it off putting it off," Kelly said. "And I got to a point where I can’t put it off anymore. I just can't wait for a day where I'm pain-free. Right now, my back’s killing me. Hopefully, nothing else is wrong."
The quarterback who led the Bills to four straight Super Bowls in the early 1990s has battled health issues for several years. He was diagnosed with oral cancer in June 2013, but a biopsy in July 2016 revealed he was cancer free. However, he underwent a massive surgery in March 2018 to reconstruct his upper jaw, then had another operation in July to stabilize it. Kelly announced in January he is cancer free once again.
Now, Kelly faces recovery from another surgery. His playing days left him with other surgical scars.
“I already have two plates and 10 screws in my back now," Kelly told The News. "I’ve got a plate and six screws in my neck. Now I'm having another back surgery. I go, ‘Come on, Lord! Please, no more.’ It is what it is. You just have to keep fighting through it. I pray every day that one of these days, I will be pain-free. So far, that hasn't been my case in many, many years.”
"Maybe you’re thinking what I’m thinking … not another surgery. I know," Jill Kelly wrote on Instagram. "Another mountain to climb. But … also, another opportunity to trust God and walk by faith."
When football ends, basketball begins. He would be at a sporting event every night if he could be. Thankful to have a bunch of nephews in high school and college sports! Great game tonight Bradley! Soooo... Tomorrow morning, (7:30 am), Jim will be getting back surgery. He has a cyst pushing up against his spinal cord that needs to be removed...etc. As so many of you have in the past, please pray. And while I am waiting, I will be praying too...so let me know if you’d like me to pray for you or someone you love. Maybe you’re thinking what I’m thinking...not another surgery. I know. Another mountain to climb. But...also, another opportunity to trust God and walk by faith. Exodus 14:14
Kelly received the Jimmy V Award at the 2018 ESPY Awards in July as "a deserving member of the sporting world who has overcome great obstacles through perseverance and determination."