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Yankees expect his return this season

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees first baseman Jason Giambi has
been diagnosed with a benign tumor, but is expected to return to
the team later this season after undergoing treatment.

The Yankees announced Friday night that Giambi was placed on the
15-day disabled list and will be treated immediately. The team,
citing privacy issues, declined to divulge where the tumor is or
what type of treatment Giambi will undergo.

Yankees manager Joe Torre said he didn't believe surgery would
be necessary.

"I'm just glad that the news, even though there's something
going on, he can be treated and recover completely," Torre said
after the Yankees beat Baltimore 2-1.

Giambi, a former AL MVP, is batting only .221 with 11 home runs
and 36 RBI. He's been feeling fatigued virtually all season, and
was diagnosed with a parasite on June 29.

He tried to play through it, but began to feel increasingly
weaker.

"He went out there and played and did it basically on courage
because he didn't have anything in the tank," said Torre, who
underwent surgery for prostate cancer at the start of the 1999
season.

Giambi underwent a battery of tests at Columbia-Presbyterian
Medical Center earlier this week to determine what has ailed him.

"The testing has not revealed the presence of any infectious
disease," team physician Dr. Stuart Hershon said in a statement.
"The Yankees expect that, with appropriate treatment, he will
rejoin the team as soon as possible."

General manager Brian Cashman said the tumor is what caused the
increasing fatigue and weakness Giambi has experienced.

On Thursday, Cashman said he expected Giambi would be at the
ballpark. Later that day, Cashman got a call from the All-Star and
they agreed Giambi should stay home and rest.

Cashman said he spoke to Giambi again on Friday, and said the
slugger is in good spirits.

"He's obviously happy that he knows what's going on now,"
Cashman said.

Cashman didn't have an immediate timetable for Giambi to return
to the team.

"I don't expect him here this weekend, and we'll take it day to
day," he said. "I think the next few days, he'll be treated and
we'll see how he's feeling. He has to get his strength back and
then we'll take it from there."

Regardless, the team is optimistic that Giambi will be back in
the lineup before the end of the regular season.

"From a baseball standpoint, he'll be back playing sooner
rather than later," Cashman said. "By all indications, he'll be
back with us some time this year."

In a statement released by the team, Giambi said he was glad to
finally have an answer as to what has been making him feel so ill.

"I am relieved that they found something that is treatable and
I look forward to getting well, coming back strong and helping the
Yankees win," he said.

Cashman said the team will recall outfielder Bubba Crosby from
Triple-A Columbus to take Giambi's spot on the roster. Crosby hit
.194 with two homers and seven RBI in 36 at-bats with the Yankees
earlier this season.