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Jim Kelly progressing 'remarkably well' after cancer surgery

In this Dec. 27, 2015, photo, former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly gestures prior to an NFL football game between the Buffalo Bills and the Dallas Cowboys in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert)

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is progressing "remarkably well" two weeks since having surgery to have cancer removed from his jaw.

Posted: Apr. 13, 2018 2:40 PM

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is progressing "remarkably well" two weeks since having surgery to have cancer removed from his jaw. He is expected to be released from the hospital soon, says the doctor who oversaw the lengthy operation.

Though he's still unable to chew, Kelly can now be fed orally in what is considered the next major step in his recovery, says Mark Urken, a head and neck surgeon at New York City's Mount Sinai West hospital.

Urken says he's very optimistic Kelly will regain the same speech and eating functions as he had before undergoing the 12-hour operation. Several follow-up procedures will be required, including having dentures inserted into Kelly's upper jaw.

Urken made his remarks during a 20-minute video recorded Thursday by the hospital, and released to the media Friday.

Kelly was required to have surgery after tests revealed a recurrence of oral cancer nearly five years after initially being diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma. The 58-year-old Kelly had been cancer-free since September 2014.

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