PITTSBURGH (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers bullpen coach Stan Kyles has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will leave the team on Friday to have surgery.
The 49-year-old Kyles is expected to be away from the team for four to six weeks. Fred Dabney will fill in — he's currently the pitching coach at Single-A Brevard County.
Kyles said he took a routine physical in January and had a biopsy the day before he left for spring training. He learned the test results about a week later.
"It's been a while since I first got the news, so I've had a lot of information and talked to a lot of people who have gone through it," Kyles said after pitching batting practice and shagging balls at PNC Park prior to the Brewers' game against Pittsburgh.
"Right now, I'm just looking forward to getting it done and getting it behind me. Doctors I've spoken to all say it (was detected) pretty early, everything looks good. There's no true test until they actually go in, but they said everything looks good at this point. I'm looking forward to getting it done and returning to the team," he said.
Kyles is in his second season as the Milwaukee bullpen coach and 10th season as a coach in the organization at various minor league levels.
He said he spoke extensively with Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker about prostate cancer and what to expect from the surgery and recovery period and was "reassured." Baker was diagnosed in late 2001.
"I told Stan to go talk to Dusty, that was my advice to him," Milwaukee manager Ken Macha said. "I saw Dusty during a 'B' (spring training) game ... and mentioned it to him. Dusty was overboard as far as him wanting to get hooked up with Stan and talk to him about stuff. It was very nice of him to do that."
"All the information I've gotten on it has been pretty positive — as positive as you can get on cancer," Kyles said. "I'm going into it positive right now. I feel better about it than I did a month ago. I've gotten a lot of support from the Brewers organization, the players and coaches. We're like family here, so I'm going in with a positive frame of mind. That's the biggest thing when dealing with something like this."
This is Kyles' 20th season as a coach after an 11-season minor league playing career that began after being drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1979.
The prostate surgery will take place in Spartanburg, S.C., where Kyles resides.
"One of the things, if there is a positive in this, is they have really done good work on this," Macha said. "The most curable of them all, I think."
Dabney was chosen for an interim promotion so that as many of the Brewers' minor league teams as possible could keep their staffs intact.
"I'm not worried about how this is impacting the team. I'm worried about how it is impacting Stan," Macha said.
"We're hoping for a really fast recovery. Everything will be found out once they do the surgery, so we didn't want to make a total disruption of the entire organization. (Promoting Dabney) was a good fit both for the big league team and the organization."