It wasn't certain when he first announced he'd been diagnosed with a rare cancer last month, but after his first round of chemotherapy, Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich told Rivals last week that the odds are against his ever playing organized football again:
For now, Herzlich is going through treatments near his home in Wayne, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia. Once the fall arrives, Herzlich plans to return to BC to finish the final six classes he needs to graduate in December. He'll also continue his cancer treatment in Boston.
As for strapping on a helmet again …
"Playing again is a goal," said Herzlich, who would have been a consensus preseason All-America selection and a top prospect for the 2010 NFL draft. "But from what the doctors say, it isn't very likely. Once they do the surgery to remove the tumor, it will be pretty damaging to my leg.
"I hopefully will be able to get back to recreational sports. They think football, intense physically [sic] activity, is out of the question. It very well could be, but there's still an inkling of hope there. If football ever does happen again, it will be in two years."
At any rate, that definitively rules out any resumption of his playing career at Boston College. But there are much bigger issues to resolve first: Herzlich admits "there's also a 30 percent chance I won't be cured." In the meantime, between chemo, he'll still be a presence for the Eagles beyond inspirational mascot -- coaches have reportedly already started sending game film for his input.