David Akers' daughter had cyst removedEmail Print Comments70 ESPN.com news services
After David Akers missed two kicks in the Philadelphia Eagles' playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers earlier this month, safety Quintin Mikell said his teammate was distracted by an off-field issue.
His agent, Jerrold Colton, said it was a "private family health concern". Akers had been silent on the issue but told The Philadelphia Inquirer in a story that appeared in Sunday's editions that his 6-year-old daughter Halley had a malignant cyst in her left ovary that was removed in the week after the game.
"They used the word tumor or cyst or growth," Akers told the newspaper. "And you're like, 'OK, what does that mean?' Cancer is what that means."
Akers' wife, Erika, told the newspaper that she could tell from her seat in the stands at Lincoln Financial Field that her husband's mind wasn't solely on the game against the Packers.
"I could tell he was there doing his job," she told the newspaper. "But he wasn't there."
Akers missed field goals of 41 and 34 yards in the Eagles' 21-16 loss to the Packers.
According to early tests, doctors believe they removed all of the malignant tumor. Halley has to get blood tests each month for the rest of the year and then more tests periodically. Even is she remains cancer-free she likely will also eventually have to have her right ovary removed.
"I think a lot of it is the unknown for us, and still not knowing, still kind of holding on," Akers told the newspaper. "You just don't think this is going to happen to your kid."
Akers, who will be the NFC's kicker in Sunday's Pro Bowl, will be a free agent this offseason