By Matt Foster and Jill Martin, CNN
(CNN) — Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers football player, Greg Brooks Jr., underwent surgery on Friday to remove a “large brain tumor,” according to a statement released Wednesday by his family and reported by CNN affiliate WAFB.
“Greg Jr. was diagnosed last week with a large brain tumor that required emergency surgery,” the family statement, released Wednesday according to WAFB, reads.
“Doctors successfully performed the procedure Friday to remove the mass, and we are awaiting biopsy results.”
“Greg continues to fight, and we await further clarity on the extent of that battle,” the statement later adds. “His incredible strength of character gives us confidence, but we also know that he needs our support now more than ever. Please keep Greg and our family in your prayers.”
CNN reached out to LSU to confirm the family statement but did not immediately receive a response.
LSU head coach Brian Kelly shared the news in his weekly media teleconference on Wednesday. Kelly said the tumor was found after the team ordered an MRI scan for Brooks, a starting safety, following the player’s complaints of potential vertigo and dizziness in both the preseason and recent weeks.
Asked if the tumor’s discovery was linked to Brooks’ dizziness, Kelly said, “Yeah, we were trying to find out what the symptoms were, and he had another episode of dizziness again on… Wednesday of last week.”
“Finally, we said that enough’s enough and we got an MRI and that’s when the tumor was located. The vertigo was just a symptom of what was obviously a larger issue.”
Kelly added he visited Brooks in the hospital on Sunday, but the player was still emerging from “heavy sedation,” so they didn’t have a “lucid” conversation.
Kelly said before Brooks went in for surgery he was “pretty clear” about wanting to play again this year, “but that’s just Greg Brooks.”
Brooks’ family’s statement said, “We are grateful for the work and care of the medical staff helping Greg through these challenges and for the concern and love poured out by so many in the Louisiana, Arkansas and national sports communities. This means the world to us at this difficult time.”
LSU Football’s official account on X, formerly known as Twitter, posted a picture of Brooks with the caption, “All Love For 3.” Brooks wears the number three on his jersey.
According to LSU, Brooks played in two games for the Tigers this season after starting 13 of 14 games last season. Prior to joining LSU, Brooks played for the Arkansas Razorbacks for three seasons. He is a Louisiana native according to the LSU Tigers website, growing up in Harvey and attending West Jefferson High School.
Kelly announced ahead of LSU’s opening game of the regular season that Brooks was to be one of the team captains for the Tigers in 2023, having been voted into that role by his teammates.
LSU and Arkansas are scheduled to play at Tiger Stadium on Saturday.
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