Dickie V makes long-awaited return to ESPN's college basketball coverage

ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale, who had successful surgery in December to treat ulcers on his left vocal cord, makes his return to broadcasting on Wednesday for the network's telecast of Duke-North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

A scope and analysis of Vitale's throat last month revealed that he has recovered sufficiently after the removal of the non-cancerous lesions.

"I have waited so long for this day to come," Vitale said Monday in a posting on his ESPN.com Web page. "I feel rejuvenated again and I am so thankful for the opportunity to get back behind that microphone."

Before undergoing surgery, the 68-year-old Vitale had never missed an assignment since joining ESPN in 1979.

Wednesday's game between No. 2 Duke and No. 3 North Carolina will air on ESPN at 9 p.m. ET.