Packers’ DuJuan Harris has surgery to remove cyst, expected to be ready by camp
"Thank God for team physicals!!!" Harris said in his first tweet. He posted a picture, via instagram, of himself hooked up to a monitor, and with a large patch of bandage covering the one surgical incision on the right side of his chest.
The surgery should address Harris’ absence from minicamp this week. Doctors made a one-inch incision to the right side of Harris’ chest to remove the cyst on his lung, next to his heart.
"EVERYTHING IS FINE, dr.s found a fist sized cyst on my lung next to my heart," Harris said via Twitter. "Shows the importance of getting routine check-ups, GET YOURS!”
“It's a blessing!!! Should be 110 percent very soon and back to work,” Harris wrote in the following tweet. “Thanks for the prayers and keeping me lifted!!! MUCH LOVE."
Harris’ agent said that the cyst wasn’t cancerous. However, doctors told him that had the cyst not been discovered on time, it could have caused serious problems later in life.
“He's very thankful for regular checkups," Harris' agent, Dave Lee, said Wednesday after Harris made news of his surgery public. "Thankfully, the cyst wasn't cancerous. The interesting thing was that he played with it last season, but they didn't find it until now."
The 5-foot-8, 208-pound Harris was arguably the Green Bay Packers’ most productive running back late last season. Harris was cut by the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of training camp during 2012, after appearing in just five games for the team the season prior. However, the Packers gave the former undrafted free agent a shot by signing him to their practice squad last October. But the diminutive running back immediately impressed coaches, and after injuries started jeopardize the Packers’ running game, Harris was pushed into a starting role later in the 2012 season. Harris was promoted to the Packers’ active roster on Dec. 1.
Harris rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns in four game appearances last season, while also catching a team-high five passes in the Packers’ NFC wild-card win over Minnesota Vikings.
Packers coach Mike McCarthy said that Harris is miss the remainder of the team’s offseason program, with minicamp coming to a conclusion next week. David Lee said that Harris will miss at least two weeks while recovering, but that should leave him fully recovered by training camp next month.
The 24-year-old Harris’ recent surgery can also be seen as a blessing in disguise as the cyst had been previously limiting his lung capacity. But now with the cyst removed, Harris will have full lung capacity which could help his game.
"The good news is, it might help him in the long run. He should be able to have more endurance. I'm not going to say he'll be quicker, but he could last a few more plays,” said Lee. “That's the silver lining of it: He's actually going to come out physically in better shape than when he went into the surgery."