Darryl Strawberry might be home in time to watch the New York Yankees play Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on his own TV.
The Yankees' slugger could be released from the hospital as early as Sunday, according to doctors at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center. The Yankees and Indians play late that afternoon in Cleveland.
Doctors were optimistic in their statement Thursday that the 36-year-old Strawberry will make a complete recovery from his colon cancer surgery and be able to report to spring training.
Not all the news was positive though.
Doctors said 35 of 36 lymph nodes removed from Strawberry's abdominal cavity for examination were cancer-free, but one contained evidence of a malignancy.
There was no evidence the cancer had spread beyond that one lymph node to other major organs like the liver or lungs, according to statement released by the hospital.
The fact that doctors found cancer elsewhere, however slight, moves Strawberry into what is commonly referred to as stage three of the disease.
Doctors generally say there is a 50 percent to 60 percent chance the cancer will return when a lymph node is affected in colon cancer patients, Newsday reported Friday.
The normal course of treatment is six months to a year of chemotherapy, Dr. David Byrd, chief of oncology at University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle, told the newspper.
Strawberry will most likely have drug therapy. Radiation treatment is not expected because the tumor was not invasive.
With chemotherapy, most doctors say cancer patients of this kind have a 60 percent chance of surviving for at least eight years.
A 16-inch portion of Strawberry's large intestine was removed during a three-hour operation last Saturday to get rid of a 2 1/2-inch cancerous tumor that nearly obstructed his intestine.
"Tell everybody I feel stronger every day," Strawberry told Rick Cerrone, the Yankees' director of media relations in a phone call to the team clubhouse during workouts at Jacobs Field in Cleveland. The Yankees play Game 3 Friday night in Cleveland.
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