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Jim Kelly had 'major cyst,' teeth removed earlier this year

By Tim Graham

Jim Kelly revealed to an Illinois newspaper nearly three months ago a "major cyst" was removed from his mouth and teeth needed to be extracted this year.

Kelly announced this morning he has cancer in his upper jaw. At an appearance in March for the Central Illinois Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Hall of Fame quarterback gave Jim Ruppert of the State Journal-Register a rundown of recent medical issues and mentioned the earlier mouth operation.

"I've had four major surgeries in the last two years," Kelly said. "Major back surgery, plates and screws in my back two years ago. Five months after that double-hernia surgery. Then 12/12/12 at 12 o'clock I had major neck surgery, where they had to replace three disks in my neck and put a plate and six screws in my neck.

"And then a week and a half ago they found a major cyst from my gums to my nasal cavity, and they had to cut that out -- the size of a nickel -- and they had to pull out all of my front teeth."

In a statement released through the Buffalo Bills this morning, Kelly announced the cancer is limited to his upper jaw, that he's scheduled for surgery Friday and "doctors have told me that the prognosis for my recovery is very good."


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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |