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Ex-Detroit Lions great, Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders has cardiac-related ‘health scare’

Former Detroit Lions Barry Sanders is on the sideline before an NFL wild-card playoff game on Jan. 14 in Detroit. (AP file photo)

DETROIT (AP) — Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Barry Sanders says he “experienced a health scare related to my heart” last weekend.

“It was unexpected and served as a reminder of the importance of staying vigilant about our physical well-being, even when we are feeling fine,” the former Detroit Lions great said in a statement posted Friday on social media.

The Lions issued their own social media post saying, “Get well soon Barry.”

“I am grateful for the amazing doctors, nurses and other health care professionals for providing me with needed care,” Sanders said. “My family and I are thankful for your prayers and support during this time. Per my doctors’ recommendation, I am taking this opportunity to prioritize my health and well-being. I appreciate your understanding and continued support.”

Sanders, who turns 56 next month, was a six-time All-Pro while starring for the Lions from 1989-98 before his sudden retirement. He rushed for 15,269 yards and 99 touchdowns in his career, including 2,053 yards in his MVP season of 1997.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2004.

Sanders spent his entire career with the Lions, who selected him with the third overall pick in the 1989 NFL draft after his Heisman Trophy-winning season with Oklahoma State.

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