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Ryan Leaf has benign tumor removed from brain stem

- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2011

LUBBOCK, TEXAS (AP) - Former NFL quarterback Ryan Leaf was recovering in California on Tuesday after doctors removed a benign tumor from his brain stem.

The 35-year-old Leaf had been experiencing headaches, dizziness and blurred vision before seeing a doctor May 18, his publicist, Margo Myers, told The Associated Press. He had surgery a week later at Saint John's Health Center in Santa Monica, Calif., and was released Saturday.

"I am looking forward to resting a bit and being with my family," Leaf said in the statement. "This was just another bridge for me to cross, and I will continue to live each day to the fullest and give back where I can!"

Leaf, a Great Falls, Mont., native, starred at Washington State, and the San Diego Chargers made him the second pick of the 1998 NFL draft. He played for the Chargers from 1998-2000 and for the Cowboys in 2001.

He threw for 3,666 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career, but is considered one of the league's biggest busts.

In April 2010, Leaf pleaded guilty to eight felony drug charges in Texas and received 10 years of probation. He was at West Texas A&M coaching quarterbacks at the time.

Leaf just recently finished writing a draft of his first of three books he's penning for Crimson Oak Publishing, a Pullman, Wash.-based publisher _ about his life, football career and addiction to painkillers. He also writes a column for his alma mater's website and sells resort packages in British Columbia.

Leaf also spends time talking to groups about his addiction.

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