INDIANAPOLIS – Rigoberto Sanchez’s road back from surgery to remove a cancerous tumor has begun.
The Indianapolis Colts’ veteran punter used his Twitter account Tuesday to provide an update.
“Surgery went well,’’ he tweeted. “Overwhelmed by all the love and support everyone sent my way.’’
Sanchez was diagnosed with the tumor last week. He insisted on handling his punting and holding chores in last Sunday’s loss to the Tennessee Titans, then underwent surgery Tuesday.
On a Tuesday Zoom conference call, special teams coach Bubba Ventrone left open the possibility of Sanchez returning this season, if his medical situation allows, of course.
“I think they have to evaluate how the operation, the surgery goes today and then they’re going to go from there,’’ he said. “We won’t have any answers here in the near future.
“But we’re hopeful if we can handle our business moving forward that maybe we will get him later on, but it’s too early to tell.’’
Ventrone added it had been obvious over the last few weeks Sanchez was being bothered by something.
“Whenever he does have something nagging him, he kind of will keep it to himself,’’ he said. “He is not one to seek out trainers or miss time or miss reps or whatever it may be, so we knew it had to be bothering him to a pretty high degree.
“You have concerns obviously when a guy that doesn’t really talk much about an injury is bringing up discomfort, especially in the form that it was in. We just immediately sought out the trainers, who sought out the doctors. They communicated with us what they though it was, got evaluated and based on the pain level . . . we had to pull back on some of his duties in the game.’’
Sanchez did not kick off, until the Colts’ onside attempt late in the fourth quarter. He punted 50.8 yards on five punts.
“There was some discomfort with his leg swing,’’ Ventrone said. “Some of the ball placement things we would normally do in a game, we were unable to do in this past game because of the inability to do it because of the pain tolerance.’’
The Colts will sign a free agent to handle the punting Sunday at Houston. The hope is that player also will do the holding for placement kicks.
“Obviously we love Rigo to death, and he’s going to have a quick recovery . . . he’s in our thoughts and prayers and can’t say enough good things about the kid,’’ Ventrone said. “We love coaching him, and we anticipate him being back hopefully soon.
“As far as replacing him, you’re not going to replace a guy that is that talented.’’
You can follow Mike Chappell on Twitter at @mchappell51.