Alabama AD Bill Battle returning in a limited capacity

Alabama athletic director Bill Battle will return to work on a "limited basis" soon, according to a news release from the university.

Battle, 74, had taken a leave of absence for treatment of multiple myeloma, a form of cancer he had been fighting for more than two years.

On June 27, he underwent a stem cell transplant at The Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Center at the Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University in Atlanta. He was released from the hospital on July 8 and was in outpatient care for roughly two weeks before being approved to return home, according to the statement.

"I have completed this latest phase of my fight against multiple myeloma, and the outcome was extremely positive," Battle said in the release. "My wife, Mary, a licensed oncology nurse, has been an amazing force in every stage of this fight over the last two years. I was fortunate to get early detection, aggressive treatment by the best doctors, and entered this recent phase in reasonably good physical shape. All of those factors were vital to this positive outcome. However, maybe the most important factor has been the outpouring of thoughts and prayers from around the country. It has been overwhelming, and Mary and I are most appreciative.

"At this time, multiple myeloma is incurable but is very treatable. Great progress has been made over the past few years and more is expected in the future. Longer life and better quality of life is expected from those with early detection, with good fitness levels, and the autologous transplant. The transplant process pretty much wipes out the bone marrow and the immune system temporarily, but rapidly regrows. The risk for infections diminishes over time and as the patient recovers from the process."

Battle, who has been athletic director at Alabama since March 2013, was the head coach at Tennessee from 1970 to 1976. He played college football at Alabama under coach Paul Bryant from 1960 to 1962.