Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's road to recovery from oral cancer included another surgery Thursday in New York City.
Kelly's wife, Jill, posted on Instagram that Thursday's procedure is "another step forward in the healing process," adding that if all goes well, the family will be back home by the weekend.
Jill Kelly posted shortly after 3 p.m. that Jim was out of surgery and in recovery. She included a photo of her and Jim holding hands.
"Never stop holding hands. In sickness and in health. Out of surgery and in recovery. Still in a lot of pain, but everything went well. Thank GOD! No teeth yet, but 5 implants were inserted into the new bone in Jim's upper jaw. More technical than I can explain... What matters most is what's happening in this picture Never take it for granted! Glory to God!"
Never stop holding hands. In sickness and in health. Out of surgery and in recovery. Still in a lot of pain, but everything went well. Thank GOD! No teeth yet, but 5 implants were inserted into the new bone in Jim’s upper jaw. More technical than I can explain... What matters most is what’s happening in this picture. Never take it for granted! Glory to God!
He said during an appearance last week in Ohio that Thursday's surgery would add tissue to his upper jaw. In comments to the Canton Repository, Kelly said it would be a "big test." Another surgery looms in September, when he will have permanent dentures inserted.
Kelly underwent 12 hours of surgery March 28 in New York for the reconstruction of his upper jaw and the removal of a cancer cell on the right side of his upper jaw. It was his second recurrence of cancer since 2013, when he was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma in his jaw.
Kelly's long-running football camp begins Sunday, and he plans to attend.
"I'll be there no matter what, but I don't know how much I'm going to be able to do (as far as) what I used to do, but as long as I can get out there I will be there for those young ones because that's what it is. I love the kids," he said last month at his annual golf tournament. "That's why I do this, that's why I do my football camp, and God willing I'll be able to do it for many, many more years."
Earlier this month, it was announced that Kelly will receive the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance during the 2018 ESPYS on July 18 in Los Angeles.
“Jim Kelly truly epitomizes perseverance,” said Alison Overholt, the vice president and editor in chief of ESPN the Magazine, espnW and the ESPYS, in a release announcing the award. “We are honored to give him the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance this year as he embodies the determination, strength of character and spirit of the award.”