Gophers' Casey O'Brien, a 4-time cancer survivor, to undergo surgery for spot on his lung

The sophomore placeholder has already beaten cancer four times.
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Casey O'Brien and P.J. Fleck embrace after O'Brien made his college football debut at Rutgers. 

Casey O'Brien and P.J. Fleck embrace after O'Brien made his college football debut at Rutgers. 

Already a four-time cancer survivor, Gophers placeholder Case O'Brien has another fight ahead of him after doctors found a spot on one of his lungs. 

O'Brien, hailed a team hero for his courageous fights against cancer, announced on social media Monday that he's ready for another surgery. 

"Earlier today I had my three-month scans and the doctors found a small spot in one of my lungs," O'Brien wrote. "They are not sure what it is, but they want to remove it this week so they can test it. I appreciate everyone's support and prayers, and I am looking forward to returning to the field soon. I have complete trust in my team of doctors."

O'Brien added a reference to the Gophers' "Row the Boat mantra: "My Oar is in the water and I will continue to Row the Boat." 

O'Brien's story has been a inspiration for the Gophers and many others who've seen his story told by the likes of ESPN's "College GameDay," which will be in Minneapolis broadcasting live from 8-11 a.m. before Saturday's Big Ten West Division-deciding border battle between Minnesota and Wisconsin. 

He was 13 when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. 

O'Brien's dream was to play college football for his home state Gophers, and his dream came true in Minnesota's victory over Rutgers in October. 

O'Brien's latest challenge comes on the heels of his crowdfunding effort to generate $100,000 for cancer research. The fundraiser is in joint effort with former Gopher runner Justin Grunewald, whose wife, professional runner Gabe Grunewald, died of cancer earlier this year. 

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