Mike Butcher has surgery for cancer

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher underwent surgery to remove a cancerous nodule from his thyroid gland Thursday, but the team said he is expected to make a full recovery.

Butcher, wearing a neck brace, showed up at the team's training facility at Tempe Diablo Stadium for meetings Sunday and will ease into more strenuous activities this week. Angels pitchers and catchers begin workouts Monday.

He went to the doctor complaining about some discomfort in his neck and was sent to a specialist, who recommended surgery. Doctors informed Butcher they caught the cancer in the earliest stages.

Butcher, 45, is going into his fifth season as the Angels' pitching coach. He spent the 2006 season as the pitching coach of the Tampa Bay Rays. He pitched four seasons in relief for the Angels in the early 1990s.

"Everything should be good to go," Angels vice president for communications Tim Mead said. "The surgery took care of it. He's fine now. It's been handled."

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com.