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Agent: Strawberry Facing Surgery

August 4, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Darryl Strawberry has a new cancerous tumor in his abdomen and most likely will have surgery next week.

The agent for the former New York Yankees slugger said Friday the tumor is near the section of colon that was operated on in 1998.

Eric Grossman said a letter he received from Dr. Jonathan LaPook of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center said tests earlier in the week ``strongly indicated″ a recurrence of cancer.

``Yes, it is back,″ the agent said.

The 38-year-old Strawberry had surgery at Columbia Presbyterian after being diagnosed with the cancer that sidelined him just before the Yankees’ World Series title run two years ago.

The eight-time All-Star underwent tests Monday and Tuesday at Palms of Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg, Fla. LaPook’s letter said the outfielder ``will travel to New York soon for further investigation and treatment.″

Grossman said a timetable had not been established, but Strawberry probably will arrive in New York during the weekend, undergo more tests and have surgery next week.

In the 1998 operation, doctors removed a 2 1/2-inch tumor from Strawberry’s large intestine, a few days after he was diagnosed with colon cancer.

Follow-up tests showed the cancer had spread to one of his lymph nodes, which was removed during the procedure.

Strawberry, an eight-time All-Star, started his career with the New York Mets and later played in Los Angeles and San Francisco. He recovered from the surgery and chemotherapy and rejoined the Yankees last season. But he was suspended by the team for most of last season after his arrest in Tampa, Fla., in April 1999 on drug and solicitation charges.

Strawberry pleaded no contest to those charges and was sentenced to probation. He was suspended from baseball for a year in February after he tested positive for cocaine in January.

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