PHOENIX (AP) -Arizona left-hander Doug Davis could return from thyroid cancer and pitch in four to six weeks, the doctor who performed the surgery said Friday.
Dr. Bob Evani said the survival rate for this type of cancer is near 100 percent.
``No one wants to get cancer. No one wants to hear the `C' word,'' Evani said. ``But if you had to pick a cancer to get, nowadays this is the one to take because it's so easily treatable.''
In the 3 1/2 to four hours of surgery on Thursday, Davis' thyroid and surrounding tissue were removed. The pitcher was released from the hospital on Friday morning.
In about two weeks, an iodine scan will be done to detect any remnants of cancer, then Davis will be given a radioactive pill that will finish off the disease, the doctor said.
Evani said the earlier estimate by Davis that he would be out four to six weeks was reasonable.
``I even told him he could start playing catch next week if he felt up to it,'' Evani said.
Davis won't be able to return to pitching, though, until medication to replace the substances produced by the thyroid restore his strength.
``The thing that's going to keep him from pitching at the level he needs to pitch is not the surgery and not the recover from the surgery,'' Evani said. ``It's really his body's ability to regain the necessary strength and endurance that that hormone was providing him.''
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