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Chad Bettis Declared Cancer-Free After November Surgery

Colorado Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis has been declared cancer-free after a November surgery removed a malignant testicle.

"I'm feeling great. Got an early Christmas present. Doctor said I was cancer-free. Ready to push forward," Bettis said on MLB Network Radio on Wednesday.

Bettis, 27, is expected to be ready for spring training. He went 14-8 with a 4.79 ERA and 1.41 WHIP across 32 starts last season.

"My understanding is that I will be physically ready to have a normal spring training, and I greatly look forward to the upcoming season," Bettis told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. "I thank my friends and family for their love and kindness and ask that privacy be shown to both my wife and myself until spring training begins."

A former second-round pick, Bettis is 23-19 with a 5.01 ERA and 1.49 WHIP since first coming up to the majors in 2013. He has been part of the Rockies' regular starting rotation in each of the last two seasons. While his standard numbers aren't impressive, Bettis has posted a combined 4.4 WAR in 2015 and 2016, with his FIP indicating he's a product of bad luck, per FanGraphs.

The Rockies don't have much in the way of elite starting pitching, so Bettis' health is paramount to their 2017 chances. Bettis will likely be their No. 2 or No. 3 starter if he gets clearance from doctors to pitch in the regular season.

Of course, all of this pales in comparison to the good news that Bettis has been given a clean bill of health. Bettis said he will have to undergo a blood test every three to six months going forward, but he was not subject to any chemotherapy or radiation treatment, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post.

"This only reinforces my belief that each of us needs to be totally in tune with our own physical health, and that taking action sooner than later when we feel like something is off can sometimes literally be the difference between life and death," Bettis told Crasnick. 

       

Follow Tyler Conway (@jtylerconway) on Twitter.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

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