CLEVELAND (AP) -Veteran offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi, released by the Cleveland Browns last month after two seasons with the club, has been diagnosed with a treatable form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
His agent, Joe Linta, said Friday that the 31-year-old Andruzzi has begun getting chemotherapy treatments at the Dana Farber Institute in Boston, a hospital for which he helped raise money while playing for the New England Patriots.
``While this condition is very serious, both Joe and his doctors feel he will be quickly on his way to a full recovery,'' Linta said in a statement. ``He is being treated by some of the best specialists in the country for his affliction. Joe is confident that he could not be in better hands.
``He would like to thank all of his fans and friends for the tremendous outpouring of support and prayers.''
During training camp in 2002 for New England, Andruzzi became friends with a young cancer patient named C.J. Buckley. Following the 17-year-old's death, Andruzzi helped establish a trust fund in Buckley's name to benefit children's brain cancer research.
A father of four, Andruzzi was cut by the Browns last month as they continued to rebuild their offensive line. Andruzzi, who was signed by Cleveland as a free agent in 2005, had two more years left on his contract.
He started 27 games for Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel, who first worked with Andruzzi on three Super Bowl-winning teams in New England. The two have remained close and Crennel said it was a tough decision to let Andruzzi go.
The Browns issued a statement in support of Andruzzi and his family.
``While in Cleveland, Joe's leadership and strength were enormous both on the field and in the locker room,'' the club said. ``If anyone can fight through this, it is Joe.''
Andruzzi, who played on sore knees last season, spent three years with Green Bay before joining the Patriots in 2000.

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