Sports

Tony Gwynn has 2nd cancer surgery

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SAN DIEGO -- San Diego baseball icon Tony Gwynn underwent surgery Tuesday to remove a cancerous growth in his right cheek, ESPN reported.

The tumor was discovered in the same spot where a malignant mass was taken out about 18 months ago.

Gwynn, a Hall of Fame inductee after a long career with the Padres and head baseball coach at San Diego State University since 2002, used smokeless tobacco for 30 years, according to ESPN.

A head and neck surgery team at University of California San Diego Thornton Hospital performed the complex oral procedure, hospital officials said.

If the cancer is localized and has not spread, Gwynn will return to his coaching duties in about one month, his wife Alicia Gwynn told ESPN.  The article quotes her saying her husband was very nervous about the operation.

"Tony's very nervous,'' she told ESPN. "But once he's back on the field, he'll be fine.''

Fellow cancer survivor and Aztecs basketball coach Steve Fisher says everyone on campus has Gwynn in their thoughts.

"It doesn't discriminate. It jumps at everybody. I had prostate cancer and have been a spokesperson for knowing your score and that sort of thing." Fisher said. "Sometimes you can do everything and still be one that has to deal with it. I'm like everybody and pray that he will be okay."

Until Gwynn recovers, Mark Martinez will be the Aztec's acting head coach.

"When people say cancer, you think the worst. So it's devastating, it's heart-wrenching," Martinez said. "But at the same time, his message to me was we're going to attack this thing positive, so get out of your funk and let's move forward.

In the meantime, baseball team begins the season Friday with a three-game series against Washington right here at the field that bears Tony Gwynn's name.

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