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Former Washington State star Ryan Leaf underwent surgery last week to remove a benign brain tumor at a hospital in Los Angeles. The surgery was quite unexpected and Leaf had kept the news quiet until Tuesday, when word began to leak that he'd gone under the knife and doctors had successfully removed the tumor and it was not cancerous. According to reports, Leaf is fine, and is resting comfortably following the procedure.
Cougfan, the Washington State arm of the Scout network, reported the news and had comments from Leaf. All told, he seems to be in great spirits following the surgery and is thankfully it went off without a hitch.
"I am looking forward to resting a bit, and being with my family, healing together," Leaf said in his statement. "Thank you for all the prayers and support, my whole family truly appreciated it. This was just another bridge for me to cross. I will continue to live each day to the fullest and give back where I can," Leaf said.
There was a time when Washington State fans had placed distance between themselves and the quarterback that lead the Cougs to the Rose Bowl during his career in Pullman. His attitude came under-fire during his tenure with the San Diego Chargers, with blowups at the media and the team an all too familiar site.
But that all changed after Leaf hit rock-bottom following a few highly-publicized incidents with prescription drugs and his well-documented addiction to them. Since checking into rehab, Leaf has turned his life around, become more involved in mentoring some of the younger Cougs and has been a superb feel-good story.
I'm proud to call Leaf a Cougar, but that wasn't always the case. And I was sad to hear about the surgery and the brain tumor he had removed. Best of luck to Leaf as he recovers. This Washington State fan hopes to see him roam the sidelines in Pullman and visiting with fans and players again this fall after making a full recovery from the surgery.