Daniel Norris says he’s cancer free after surgery

Daniel Norris said he’s cancer-free after undergoing surgery for a cancerous growth on his thyroid.

Norris made the announcement on his Instagram account, posting a photo of himself with the scar from the procedure.

“I just want to thank everyone for the thoughts and prayers,” Norris posted. “Surgery was successful and I am Cancer Free.”

The post comes 10 days after Norris announced on Instagram that he had been diagnosed with a cancerous growth on his thyroid earlier in the season, before he’d been traded from the Blue Jays to the Tigers on July 30. Tigers general manager Al Avila said the team was aware of Norris’ situation at the time of the deal.

“This is a personal matter with Daniel,” Avila said earlier this month. “Yes, we did know about it before the trade. We expect him to have a full recovery and be with us in Spring Training.”

Norris kept pitching through the season after a second opinion determined he could wait until season’s end to have surgery. Norris not only kept pitching, he pitched well with the Tigers. He became the first American League pitcher to hit a home run at Wrigley Field during an Interleague game against the Cubs in August, before going on the disabled list with an oblique strain. He returned to make four starts in September, including 10 scoreless innings over two starts against the White Sox.

“Baseball kept me sane,” he posted Oct. 19. “Regardless of results on the field, I forgot about it when I was between the lines. After all, I was just trying to get the heck out of AAA. And I did. I was revived with an opportunity, a blessing from God, with the Tigers back in the big leagues.”

According to the American Cancer Society web site, the five-year relative survival rate is high for people diagnosed with thyroid cancer in its early stages — near 100 percent for Stages I and II. Even the stage III survival rate is high, depending on the type of thyroid cancer. Surgery is usually involved to remove a growth.

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