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Eagles kicker David Akers reveals daughter is battling cancer

01.31.11 at 11:18 am ET

After veteran kicker David Akers missed two field goals in the Eagles’ 21-16 playoff loss to the Packers earlier this month, there was plenty of speculation over what was going on with the kicker. There had to have been some sort of reason the usually reliable kicker was off that day. Now we know what that reason is.

Akers revealed to the Philadelphia Inquirer in an article Sunday that in the week leading up to the game, doctors found a cancerous cyst in his 6-year-old daughter Halley‘s left ovary. The ovary was removed the week after the game and early tests show that doctors got all of the malignant tumor. Halley will have to go for blood tests every month to make sure the cancer doesn’t return, but even if she remains cancer-free, doctors said she will likely have to have her right ovary removed eventually as well.

Akers didn’t make any excuses after the missed field goals and chose to keep his daughter’s struggle quiet, but it’s obvious now that football was not the only thing on his mind that day.

“I could tell he was there doing his job,” his wife, Erika, told the newspaper. “But he wasn’t there.”

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