Former pitcher, broadcaster upbeat about prognosis

Updated: February 21, 2007, 8:05 PM ET
Associated Press

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher and broadcaster Joe Nuxhall plans to announce some spring training games between doctors' appointments to treat his cancer.

The 78-year-old Nuxhall was released from a hospital Tuesday and started treatment for his recurrence of cancer. Nuxhall's first bout with cancer was in 1992, when he had surgery for prostate cancer.

He showed up at the team's training complex Wednesday and told reporters that he was upbeat about his prognosis.

He was planning to play some golf Wednesday after another appointment with a doctor.

"I'm not going to lay around," he said. "I was flat on my back for a week. That was enough."

Nuxhall expects to join broadcaster Marty Brennaman in the radio booth for the Reds' spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on March 4.

"I'll do as many as they want," Nuxhall said. "I'm available."

Nuxhall retired from full-time radio broadcasting after the 2004 season, but has worked a few games in recent years.

He said he felt ill before he left Cincinnati for spring training. His doctor advised him to get tested when he arrived in Florida. Last week, doctors found that he had blood clots and that his cancer had returned.

He was in the hospital for a week, getting treatment for the blood clots. Doctors also discussed ways to treat the cancer.

"If I hadn't done that, I'd be here out of breath," Nuxhall said of his hospital stay. "Thank God for that. Knowing my stubbornness I would have gone on without it. That would have been really bad.

"It was a lifesaver. You know me, I thought I'd be all right. It was a very serious thing."

Nuxhall said he will get treatment for cancer twice a week in Sarasota, and return to Cincinnati in late March.

Nuxhall has been slowed by health problems in recent years. Besides treatment for prostate cancer, he suffered a mild heart attack in 2001.

The left-hander was the youngest player to appear in the major leagues during the modern era. He was 15 when he pitched for the Reds on June 10, 1944, helping to fill out their roster during World War II.

Nuxhall spent 15 of his 16 big league seasons with the Reds, and became a broadcaster after he retired.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press