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Carolina Panthers defensive end Henry Anderson reveals he recently had stroke — but wants to play on Sunday

<i>Harry How/Getty Images</i><br/>Henry Anderson revealed he suffered a stroke in October.
Getty Images
Harry How/Getty Images
Henry Anderson revealed he suffered a stroke in October.

By Alasdair Howorth, CNN

Henry Anderson, a defensive end for the Carolina Panthers, revealed on Wednesday that he suffered a “minor stroke” in October, and that he’s hopeful of returning to action on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks.

On October 22, a day before the Panthers faced Tom Brady’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Anderson was admitted to the hospital after feeling numbness in his legs and arms as well as experiencing his speech slurring.

“We got it resolved pretty quickly,” Anderson said on Wednesday. “It was a stroke, so it’s basically like a blood clot in your brain.”

After a few days in the hospital, Anderson was released and put on the reserve/non-football injury list on October 25, but the reason wasn’t known until Wednesday.

“I didn’t know much about strokes, but I found out more about them and realized I got pretty lucky avoiding anything serious and long-term,” Anderson said.

“I am glad that I was kind of oblivious when it happened because I would have been a little more panicked had I realized what was going on. But like I said, I got pretty lucky.”

On Wednesday, the 2015 third-round draft pick was designated to return from the reserve/non-football injury list allowing him to return to the roster over 21 days, but Anderson is hopeful of making a return sooner — he wants to suit up on Sunday.

“I’m a football player,” Anderson said. “If I’m cleared to play, I want to be out there and play football because that’s what I love to do.

“If the doctors say I’m good to go and I’ve got clearance, I want to be out there with my guys and playing with my brothers.”

The Panthers (4-8) sit in third in the NFC South ahead of their Sunday clash against the Seahawks.

Anderson’s teammate Brian Burns said that the team was not told about Anderson’s stroke before the October game against the Bucs.

“I just kind of remember him not being at the meeting for personal reasons,” Burns said. “It was scary to me when we found out he had a stroke because he was so young and he’s an athlete.

“He is like in top-tier shape. I feel like most of the times when I hear about strokes it is older people or obese people or maybe because of a heat stroke, or something like that.”

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