LA Chargers’ Russell Okung Says Pulmonary Embolism Was ‘Near Death Experience Wake-Up Call’, Hopes to be Back on the Field Soon After Full Recovery

Los Angeles Chargers starting left offensive tackle Russell Okung revealed Thursday he suffered a life-threatening pulmonary embolism after a workout last month.

The 30-year-old NFL blind-side blocker of Nigerian heritage, a member of Seattle’s 2014 Super Bowl championship squad, said in a statement released on Twitter that a visit to an urgent care facility after a practice session “likely saved my life” by discovering the blood clot in his lung.

“After experiencing unusual chest pain at practice, on June 1st I went to urgent care out of an abundance of caution. According to the doctors who treated me, the decision to do so likely saved my life,” wrote Okung, an American who has a Nigerian flag on his Twitter account.

“Thankfully, I’m okay now, but a few tests revealed that I suffered a Pulmonary Embolism caused by blood clots. When detected early, this condition is very treatable and I’m grateful to have access to the best available care as I continue on the path to full recovery.”

After thanking teammates and coaches for their support and understanding, Okung noted that “thanks to an incredible medical team and a very supportive family, I hope to be back on the field as quick as possible.”

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