Fell to have chemotherapy after cancer returns
Tom Fell, the Worcestershire batsman, is to undergo a course of chemotherapy and will miss the start of the season. Fell had surgery last year after being diagnosed with testicular cancer but, despite initially being cleared to play grade cricket in Australia, a scan subsequently detected the disease in his lymph nodes.
Although Fell had regular check-ups while with Perth club Mount Lawley, the cancer's return was only discovered when he got back to the UK this week. Fell will have three three-week cycles of chemotherapy and hopes to be able to play again in June.
"It came as a complete shock because I had a blood test in Australia and that was all fine," Fell said. "I got back here, had the CT scan which detected a little bit of cancer in the lymph modes that wasn't there before.
"It is very small at the moment and they've got hold of it early but the only option now is to have the chemotherapy. I will have three sessions of chemo starting from the end of next week and each cycle lasts three weeks.
"The third cycle ends about the middle of May and all being well, my understanding is that, if I'm feeling okay, there is no reason why I can't be back up and running by June and hopefully playing again at that stage."
The development means Fell, who was Worcestershire's leading Championship run-scorer last season, will not take part in the club's pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi, for which the squad departed on Friday.
"The important thing is to live your life, not mope about and get on with things. It is the best way to deal with it," Fell said. "You've got to stay positive and not feel sorry for yourself. If I react well, I might be able to still do certain things, do some training to keep fit, and head up to Worcester and be around the lads.
"I've had plenty of messages from the boys. I let them know this morning and everyone has come back with messages and calls of support. It's a shame I won't be on the plane with them to Abu Dhabi."
Fell, 22, was initially diagnosed shortly after the 2015 season finished, having approached the Worcestershire club doctor with his concerns. He had surgery in early October and was told the tumour had not spread so, on the advice of his consultant, opted not to undergo a course of chemotherapy at the time.
Worcestershire's director of cricket, Steve Rhodes, said: "Obviously we are absolutely gutted for Tom. He enjoyed his time in Perth and was desperately looking forward to the pre-season tour and the start of the season with the boys.
"However his health is the most important thing to all of us here at Worcestershire and we wish him a speedy recovery towards getting well again and back out on that cricket field."