SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Diamondbacks bench coach Ron Gardenhire has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery to remove his prostate at a later date -- likely in April.
Gardenhire, former manager of the Minnesota Twins who is in his first season with the D-backs, revealed the diagnosis on Tuesday, on the first official day of workouts for pitchers and catchers. He said he hoped to continue with his coaching duties as usual until taking a leave of absence for the surgery.
"I'm going to fight it and deal with it," said Gardenhire. "It's a bump in the road, and it's not how I envisioned starting spring training with a brand new team, but it's part of life. With the backing of this ball club, we'll get through it and I'll get through it."
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"We are a family," said D-backs Manager Torey Lovullo. "As a family, there's a series of tests that are going to come upon us and this is a big one, but we're going to come together and help Gardy through this to the best of our ability. We're not going to miss a step because we're committed to him."
"The entire organization stands behind Ron and we are here to support him through this challenging time," said D-backs President and CEO Derrick Hall, who has also battled prostate cancer. "He certainly knows that there are resources throughout the franchise that he can turn to and of course, we will do everything we can to assist him."
"It says a lot about Gardy that his first thought when he told us about his diagnosis was that he didn't want to be a distraction to the team," said D-backs General Manager Mike Hazen. "We are all behind him and of course, our first concern is with getting him healthy and tackling this the way he plans to -- head on."
Gardenhire, 59, managed the Twins for 13 seasons and is the winningest manager in Minnesota franchise history with 1,608 career victories.