Colorado Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis has been diagnosed with testicular cancer and underwent surgery to have one of his testicles removed in late November, he said in a statement to ESPN on Monday night.
Bettis, 27, said he expects to make a full recovery and will be ready to report for spring training in Arizona in February and be part of Colorado's starting rotation in 2017.
"During an appointment in November, my doctor noticed an abnormality and ordered further tests and advanced blood work," Bettis said in a statement released through his agent, Matt Sosnick. "The following Monday, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer and had one of my testicles removed the next day, on Tuesday, November 29.
"I was completely caught off-guard by my diagnosis but have subsequently found that the vast majority of cases occur in men 20 to 40 years of age and that the survival rate is 99 percent when contained and caught early. This only reinforces my belief that each of us needs to be totally in tune with our own physical health, and that taking action sooner than later when we feel like something is off can sometimes literally be the difference between life and death.
"The surgeon is very confident that the cancer was isolated and has not spread and that my ability to have children should not be affected. The Rockies and the MLBPA have been great, and I truly appreciate the care and support shown by [general manager] Jeff Bridich to both me and my family.
"My understanding is that I will be physically ready to have a normal spring training, and I greatly look forward to the upcoming season. I thank my friends and family for their love and kindness and ask that privacy be shown to both my wife and myself until spring training begins."
My growing family and I would like to say thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. We will get through this! Better together!👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/cXtYATcpJh
— Chad Bettis (@cbettis35) December 14, 2016
Bettis, 27, was selected by Colorado in the second round of the 2010 first-year player draft out of Texas Tech. He made his major league debut in 2013 after missing the entire 2012 season with a shoulder injury.
Bettis went 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA in 32 starts this season and led the Colorado staff with 186 innings pitched. The Rockies won his last nine starts at Coors Field after June 9.