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MANKATO, Minn. -- Some sad news to report from Minnesota's training camp. Defensive end Kenechi Udeze, who was attempting a comeback after recovering from an acute form of leukemia, has retired.
Coach Brad Childress confirmed the decision to Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune. Udeze's reasons were not immediately clear, and Childress did not mention Udeze during an interview session Wednesday afternoon with a group of reporters.
Udeze, the Vikings' No. 1 pick in 2004, missed last season after undergoing a bone marrow transplant. He participated in most of the Vikings' offseason practices but acknowledged in May that he needed to improve his conditioning. He was also dealing with a side effect of chemotherapy, known as neuropathy, that made it difficult to run at times.
Udeze handled his illness with pride, bravery and class. We wish him the best.