Jaguars backup quarterback diagnosed with Crohn's disease

Updated: May 20, 2004, 5:43 PM ET

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars backup quarterback David Garrard will have surgery next week to alleviate symptoms of Crohn's disease and hopes to be back in time for training camp.

Garrard will have diseased tissue removed from where his colon meets his small intestine. Crohn's causes blockage in the intestines, resulting in chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and weight loss. There is no known cause or cure, and it afflicts more than 500,000 people in the United States.

Garrard, 26, said he will have surgery next Thursday at Baptist Medical Center, and be sidelined until mid-July. He hopes to get himself ready for training camp in late July or early August.

Although the surgery will not cure the disease, Garrard said patients sometimes go 15 to 20 years without symptoms after the surgery.

"I'll be done with football by that time," Garrard said. "There shouldn't be any problems. I could have lived with it if I was a normal person."

Garrard decided to have the surgery after he was hospitalized last weekend when he was in constant pain because his intestines had swollen and were pressing on his bladder.

Garrard stared feeling sick in January and was diagnosed in March.

He completed nine of 12 passes last year for 86 yards and a touchdown. Although the Jaguars signed undrafted rookie Bryson Spinner to give them a fourth quarterback, coach Jack Del Rio said he will await Garrard's return.

"Get healed and come back," Del Rio said. "We're not rushing anybody."

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index