Pro Bowl player for NFL's Chiefs could have lymphoma, says team

By Steve Ginsburg
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By Steve Ginsburg (Reuters) - Kansas City Chiefs three-time Pro Bowl safety Eric Berry has a mass on the right side of his chest that team officials said Monday could be lymphoma. Berry, a 25-year-old five-year NFL veteran, will undergo further testing on Tuesday at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, the Chiefs said. "At first I was in shock with the diagnosis on Saturday and did not even want to miss a game, but I understand that right now I have to concentrate on a new opponent," Berry said in a statement. "I have great confidence in the doctors and the plan they are going to put in place for me to win this fight." Berry has been placed on the season-ending non-football illness list, meaning his season is over. Chiefs trainer Rick Burkholder said Berry first complained of "chest discomfort" at the end of Thursday night's 24-20 loss to the host Oakland Raiders. Berry still had discomfort on Friday back in Kansas City and an MRI showed the mass, Burkholder said, adding that further tests on Saturday pointed to lymphoma, a former of cancer. "At this point in time, we don't have a definitive diagnosis," he said. "But the leading consideration for what he has right now is lymphoma." Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Berry was able to talk to the team on Monday about his condition, and "feel their love and support." "When you get into these situations you hunker down and you battle for your life," said Reid. "You have to have a certain support system to back you up and Eric's got that, not only with family but also with the Chiefs." Berry has made the Pro Bowl three times in the last four seasons. "We think we have Eric in a really good spot right now to have a really good outcome," said Burkholder. Berry was insistent he will return to the Chiefs. "I will be back!" he said. (Editing by Eric Walsh)