Doctor gives update on Jim Kelly's recovery after surgery for cancer

Former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly is recovering from surgery to remove cancer. (AP)

Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly is battling, again.

Kelly, the longtime Buffalo Bills star, had surgery on March 28 to remove cancer from his upper jaw. He had his upper jaw reconstructed as part of the 12-hour procedure.

Dr. Mark Urken, a head and neck surgeon from Mount Sinai West in New York City, where Kelly’s surgery took place, offered an update via the Bills’ team site

“Mr. Kelly continues to make solid progress in his recovery from extensive surgery for his oral cancer,” Urken said, according to the Bills. “He has been moved out of the intensive care unit and made that transition by walking, on his own, from the unit to the inpatient floor where he will continue the next phase of care. He is still several days away from resuming swallowing and taking nutrition by mouth.”

Kelly has had three bouts with cancer. The first time he was diagnosed was 2013. Kelly is very popular among Bills fans, not just for his success during his playing career but for the toughness he displayed. That toughness has been put to the test in recent years.

In the Bills’ report on Kelly’s progress, the team included a statement from his wife Jill.

“Dr. Urken and his team continue to provide excellent care and support for Jim and our family,” Jill Kelly said in a statement to the Bills. “As we navigate through this next phase of healing we will continue to trust God…one day at a time, one prayer at a time. We would appreciate your continued prayer support.”

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Frank Schwab is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!