Kyle McCarthy diagnosed with cancer

Notre Dame graduate assistant Kyle McCarthy will take intermittent leaves of absence from the football program after being diagnosed with a "very treatable" form of cancer, the school announced Thursday morning.

"A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a very treatable form of cancer," McCarthy said in a release. "Yesterday, I began chemotherapy as the next step in eliminating this disease. I'm truly blessed to have such amazing love and support from family and friends.

"Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers over the last few weeks. I expect a full recovery and look forward to returning to the team during and after my treatment. Go Irish!"

McCarthy, who works with the secondary, is in his first year as a Fighting Irish grad assistant. He was a team captain for the Irish in 2009 and went on to play in 12 games over two seasons for the NFL's Denver Broncos from 2010-11, totaling six tackles. He ended up later signing with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders as well, but knee injuries ended his pro career last fall.

"Kyle's attitude and outlook toward his treatment is remarkable," Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a release. "We will support him the entire way. We are very confident he'll receive the necessary treatment to make a complete recovery."