Harmon Killebrew: Doctors hopeful

Updated: January 19, 2011, 2:22 PM ET
Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Hall of Fame slugger Harmon Killebrew has been going through chemotherapy for his esophageal cancer for about three weeks, a daunting regimen that he said has been aided "by the outpouring of support and prayers" he has received.

Killebrew issued a statement through the Minnesota Twins on Wednesday, saying his doctors remain hopeful he will make a full recovery.

"My wife Nita and I continue to be overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and prayers we have received while I am undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer," Killebrew said. "My chemotherapy is ongoing and the team of medical professionals at the Mayo Clinic is hopeful for my full recovery."

Killebrew announced his diagnosis in December and is receiving treatment in Arizona.

"It has been a tough battle but Nita and I have found comfort in the love and encouragement from our family and friends," Killebrew said. "We still have a long road ahead of us and we ask for your continued prayers."

All the support shouldn't come as a surprise for Killebrew, one of the most beloved players in Twins history. He remains a favorite to this day and is well known for his congenial nature and willingness to sign autographs and spend time with fans at spring training and when the team is home in Minnesota.

He hit 573 home runs and made 11 All-Star appearances during his 22-year career spent mostly with the Washington Senators and Twins.

He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1984 and was fifth on the career home run list when he retired in 1975 after one season with the Kansas City Royals.

Killebrew currently ranks 11th on the all-time home run list, and his eight seasons with 40 or more homers still is tied for second in league history to Babe Ruth.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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