Bills tackle Henderson set to rejoin team after 2 operations
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Seantrel Henderson is ready to resume his career after an offseason in which he had two operations on parts of his intestines to reduce the effects of Crohn's disease.
The player's agent, Alan Herman, confirmed to The Associated Press on Tuesday that Henderson is preparing to travel to Buffalo this week following one final checkup scheduled on Wednesday at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota.
''He's going to be able to play football,'' Herman said. ''There's no problem with his ability to lift weights, get into good shape, compete in training camp. All of that's in front of him.''
What Herman believes is behind Henderson is several years of playing with severe stomach pain that went undiagnosed until late last season when doctors discovered he had Crohn's - a type of inflammatory bowel disease, which affects about 1.4 million Americans.
Henderson had two operations over four months, the first to remove diseased tissue, and another to re-attach the intestine in April.
Though there's no cure, Herman said medical experts are confident Henderson can resume playing without complications and even be cleared for practice in time for training camp, which opens in late July.
The Buffalo News first reported about Henderson's status on Tuesday.
Selected in the seventh round of the 2014 draft out of Miami, Henderson started all 16 games at right tackle during his rookie season, and started another 10 last season before being diagnosed with the disease.
Henderson's future had been uncertain, with the Bills providing no definitive updates on his status this offseason.
Last week, coach Rex Ryan acknowledged he had not spoken to Henderson since the end of last season.
Though Henderson hasn't spoken directly with Ryan, Herman said his client was in regular contact with the team's medical staff. Herman said he's provided updates on his client to Bills general manager Doug Whaley and vice president Jim Overdorf.
Henderson is from St. Paul, Minnesota, and elected to remain at home during the recuperation process rather than travel to Buffalo, Herman said.
He's scheduled report to the Bills facility by Thursday, when the team closes a three-day voluntary minicamp. Buffalo holds its third and final voluntary camp next week, followed by a three-day mandatory session that opens June 14.
Jordan Mills, who took over Henderson's starting job to close last season, and Cyrus Kouandjio have been splitting time at right tackle during spring sessions.
Herman said the key for Henderson is spending the next two months adding weight, regaining his strength while also adjusting to a new low-fiber diet. Herman said Henderson has gained about half of the 30 pounds he lost since being listed at 331 pounds last season.
''Once he gets into training camp, he'll be fine,'' Herman said. ''He's not afraid of competing for a job or any of that kind of stuff. So he'll come in and do the very best he can, and hopefully be a starter again.''
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