CLEVELAND (June 1, 2007) -- Veteran offensive lineman Joe Andruzzi, released by the Cleveland Browns last month after two seasons with the club, has been diagnosed with a treatable form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
His agent, Joe Linta, said that the 31-year-old Andruzzi has begun getting chemotherapy treatments at the Dana Farber Institute in Boston, a hospital for which he helped raise money while playing for the New England Patriots.
"While this condition is very serious, both Joe and his doctors feel he will be quickly on his way to a full recovery," Linta said in a statement. "He is being treated by some of the best specialists in the country for his affliction. Joe is confident that he could not be in better hands.
"He would like to thank all of his fans and friends for the tremendous outpouring of support and prayers."
During training camp in 2002 for New England, Andruzzi became friends with a young cancer patient named C.J. Buckley. Following the 17-year-old's death, Andruzzi helped establish a trust fund in Buckley's name to benefit children's brain cancer research.
A father of four, Andruzzi was cut by the Browns last month as they continued to rebuild their offensive line. Andruzzi, who was signed by Cleveland as a free agent in 2005, had two more years left on his contract.
He started 27 games for Cleveland coach Romeo Crennel, who first worked with Andruzzi on three Super Bowl-winning teams in New England. The two have remained close and Crennel said it was a tough decision to let Andruzzi go.
The Browns issued a statement in support of Andruzzi and his family.
"While in Cleveland, Joe's leadership and strength were enormous both on the field and in the locker room," the club said. "If anyone can fight through this, it is Joe."
Andruzzi, who played on sore knees last season, spent three years with Green Bay before joining the Patriots in 2000.