Darryl Strawberry, looking thinner but insisting he feels "great," left the hospital Thursday following colon cancer surgery two weeks ago.
"It's been a difficult time but now that time is over," the New York Yankees slugger said at a news conference at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center.
"As you can see, I've lost a lot of weight," he added. "But from my nurses to my doctors, they told me everything will come back."
The 36-year-old outfielder, an inspiration to his teammates, returned to his home in suburban New Jersey, where he plans to watch Game 1 of the World Series on Saturday night between the Yankees and San Diego Padres.
"I'm excited about my team being in the World Series," he said.
Strawberry's chances of recovering are considered good and he might be back on the playing field as soon as next year, doctors say.
He was accompanied from the hospital by his wife Charisse. A group of fans gathered outside the hospital to cheer the slugger.
Strawberry was originally expected to be released last Sunday, but the hospital said he was not yet able to eat normally and kept him a few extra days.
Strawberry now is expected to undergo chemotherapy. Normal treatment lasts about six months.
Strawberry had a 16-inch portion of his large intestine removed during a three-hour operation Oct. 3 to get rid of a 2½-inch cancerous tumor that nearly obstructed his intestine.
He has provided motivation for the Yankees since they beat the Texas Rangers in the opening round of the AL playoffs and defeated the Cleveland Indians for the league championship.
"We think about him every day in the clubhouse," Yankees first baseman Tino Martinez said. "Our prayers and thoughts are with him. Once he gets home and gets back on his feet, we'll be even more excited."
The Yankees are familiar at dealing with illness during the postseason. During their 1996 World Series championship run, manager Joe Torre's brother, Frank, was at the same hospital for a heart transplant.
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