Carolina Panthers defensive end Henry Anderson is not going to let a stroke stop him from doing what he loves.
The 31-year-old revealed Wednesday that on Oct. 22, while home with his wife, he could feel his legs and arms going numb. His speech became slurred.
“It was a stroke, so it’s basically like a blood clot in your brain,” Anderson said, according to ESPN.
The team put Anderson, who is 6-foot-6 and weighs 301 pounds, on the non-football illness list, from which he was removed on Wednesday.
Anderson said he was hoping to be out there Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.
“I’m a football player. If I’m cleared to play, I want to be out there and play football because that’s what I love to do,” he told the sports network.
“I’ve been injured several times throughout my career, and it’s always kind of overwhelming when you’re injured and not with the team, so if the doctors say I’m good to go and I’ve got clearance I want to be out there with my guys and playing with my brothers,” he said.
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“I mean, I feel totally fine. Like I said, it’s not like an injury like a knee or shoulder or something that you’ve got to rehab and get the strength back and everything. This was just something that like, I felt pretty much back to normal as soon as they got the thing out,” he said.
“Every test we looked at came negative. I think it was something that I got unlucky because they ran a ton of tests and everything was good. There wasn’t anything that showed up or they could point to that they said could have caused it,” he said.
Panthers players were not initially told about what had happened to Anderson, which took place the day before a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“I just kind of remember him not being at the meeting for personal reasons. They didn’t tell us right away what happened. Once you found out, yeah, it was a little scary,” defensive end Brian Burns said, according to ESPN.
A #stroke is a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment. Early intervention can minimise brain damage & other complications. Seek immediate medical attention if you or someone you are with notice any signs or symptoms of a stroke.#StrokeSymptoms #DiseaseAwareness pic.twitter.com/gPCuoF7Jl1
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Burns said he was surprised because Anderson “was so young and he’s an athlete,” according to the Associated Press.
“He is like in top-tier shape. I feel like most of the times when I hear about strokes it is older people or obese people or maybe because of a heat stroke, or something like that,” he said.
Anderson was initially drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2015, and is in his first season with the Panthers. He has also played for the New England Patriots and New York Jets, according to AP.
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