After missing his entire rookie season with leukemia, Houston Texans wide receiver John Metchie III is making his return to the NFL.

The Texans drafted Metchie in the second round of the 2022 NFL draft. Three months later, he was diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia.

The diagnosis came while he was rehabbing from a torn ACL he sustained in the SEC championship game. At the time of his diagnosis, then-Texans head coach Lovie Smith pledged the team’s support.

“We’re going to be there every step of the way with him,” he said, according to CBS Sports. “Eventually, he will get back out there with our football team, and we can’t wait for that.”

Smith’s prediction was right. Nine months later, Metchie was catching passes on the practice field.

Two weeks ago, new Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans gave an update on Metchie’s status and said the former Alabama receiver would be working out during the team’s offseason program, Pro Football Talk reported.

“Yeah, John (Metchie) is doing fine,” he said. “We’ll see John get involved with our offseason program. And with John, as with every other player, we’re going to take it one day at a time and see where he can grow and where he can be when the time comes. At the right time, when the season comes, we’ll see where he is.”

What is acute promyelocytic leukemia?

Acute promyelocytic leukemia is a blood cancer in which there is an increase in promyelocytes, a type of white blood cells. This cancer develops in 600 to 800 people every year in the U.S., according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders.

While he did not treat Metchie, Dr. Douglas Smith, a professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins University’s Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Care Center, discussed Metchie’s prognosis with Yahoo Sports last year.

“It’s the most dangerous form of acute leukemia in the first one to two months, but the most curable form afterward,” he said. “Patients with APL have a tendency toward bleeding and clotting irregularly. … Once the bleeding problem gets stabilized and the leukemia problem gets under control, it is the most curable form of acute leukemia in adults.”

Have other NFL players been diagnosed with cancer?

In March, free agent tight end Foster Moreau was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma while undergoing a physical during a free agency visit with the New Orleans Saints, as the Deseret News previously reported.

Moreau sat down with Michael Strahan from “Good Morning America” two weeks ago to provide an update on his health.

“It’s at Stage 2, so it’s spread from the initial location,” he said. “But it appears to be a slow spread, and we should be able to get rid of all of it.”

The tight end compared his diagnosis and treatment to preparing for game day.

“There’s no other way to look at it, right?” he said. “So I’m preparing for my opponent, right? Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chemotherapy, I’m preparing for being on an IV, for six, seven, eight hours. Whatever it takes, right? Because I mean, there’s no other option. There’s no option.”