Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Amobi Okoye returned to practice Thursday for the first time since being diagnosed with a potentially fatal brain condition last year. Okoye, 27, was diagnosed with anti-NDMA receptor encephalitis in March 2013 and was placed in a medically-induced coma for three months last year.
Okoye, 27, was diagnosed with anti-NDMA receptor encephalitis in March 2013 and was placed in a medically-induced coma for three months last year. Seizures and memory loss are triggered by the brain condition. He was medically cleared to return to football activities in August.
He plans to hold a news conference during the team's bye week for an in-depth explanation of the past year and a half. He said that he enjoyed his first practice on Thursday:
"It was good, it was worth it. It was mixed emotions. It felt like it naturally was coming back. I've played six years in the league [and], it doesn't take too long for stuff to come back to you."
He will remain on the team's reserve/non-football injury list for the next three weeks.
Okoye is the youngest player ever drafted by an NFL team; he was 19 when the Houston Texans took him with the 10th overall pick in the 2007. In his six-year career with the Texans and Chicago Bears, he recorded 16.0 sacks.
- Paul Palladino