San Diego Padres reliever Brad Wieck said Wednesday that he underwent surgery for testicular cancer last month and his goal "is to be ready by the break of spring training for wherever they want to send me."
Wieck, 27, made his MLB debut with the Padres last September, striking out 10 in seven innings while compiling a 1.29 ERA.
A 6-foot-9 lefty, Wieck was working out at Petco Park when he told the team's medical staff during a checkup that he wasn't feeling right, leading to the discovery of a cancerous tumor. Surgery was performed three days later.
"At first it was tough," Wieck told reporters, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. "I didn't know why it happened. I'm a young kid. Usually you think of that later in life that people get cancer. It's tough to deal with it. But we're dealing with it. All we can do is move forward. There's no reason to sit around pondering why this or why that. It's something we deal with and move on."
Manager Andy Green said it's reasonable to expect Wieck to be ready for the start of the season. Wieck is playing catch from 105 feet and said he's feeling good and will do as much as the medical staff allows.
"For most of spring training, he's just going to be recovering," Green said, according to MLB.com. "For all of us, we're just glad that he's healthy."
"I feel strong," Wieck said. "I'm just moving along with the recovery process and rolling with the punches for now. ... They did say we caught it early. Thank God we did. Cancer is a scary thing. It spreads very rapidly. ... They said we caught it early and it's contained."
Wieck said he was grateful to hear from Green, general manager A.J. Preller and two of his coaches, considering he was worried about not just his health, but his future in the sport.
"They made sure I knew they were thinking about me and the organization was thinking about me," Wieck said, according to the Union-Tribune. "That was huge, because I'm 27, I just broke into the big leagues, and I get smacked with this news. I was like, 'Man, where is my career going to go from here?' They definitely gave me peace of mind that they're here with me and they do support me."