FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — New England Patriots left tackle Nate Solder reportedly had surgery for testicular cancer last spring. He went on to start every game, including the Super Bowl victory.

ESPN said Tuesday that Solder was diagnosed during the team's voluntary offseason program last April after a standard physical. He had surgery three days later and returned by June for the end of organized team activities.

Solder says he was surprised by the diagnosis and stresses the need for early detection. ESPN adds that while Solder made a quick recovery he is sensitive to others who have more significant surgery and treatments than he did.

The 27-year-old Solder is entering his fifth NFL season. The Patriots drafted him in the first round out of Colorado.

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