Powell returns to clubhouse upbeat after cancer surgery 'Too young not to,' ex-Oriole will opt for chemotherapy

September 21, 1997|By Joe Strauss | Joe Strauss,SUN STAFF

Boog Powell walked into the Orioles' clubhouse yesterday slimmer, healthier and decidedly optimistic about his recovery from colon cancer surgery Aug. 25.

The former All-Star first baseman and current Camden Yards barbecue entrepreneur said he hasn't yet returned to work but hopes to steadily rebuild his routine the next several weeks after beginning chemotherapy treatment.

"I'm just dealing with building my strength up. I can eat whatever I want. I can drink whatever I want. And I've lost about 24 pounds. I feel pretty good about that. And I've probably got another 24 I could lose," said the 1970 American League MVP.

Powell, 56, said chemotherapy was presented to him as optional. "The doctor said he'd be with me 100 percent if I do take chemo or if I don't take chemo. It just boils down to whether I want to do it. So I'm going to do it," Powell said.

Powell said he will begin treatment in the next two weeks, "probably in the middle of the playoffs."

"I just feel like I'm too young not to do it. If I was 90 years old, it might be a different deal. I've got a lot of living to do," he said.

The surgery performed on Powell was nearly identical to the one performed on right fielder Eric Davis June 13. Davis' rapid return has not escaped the former All-Star's notice. Indeed, the two have spoken several times, including yesterday, since his operation.

"His [surgery] was 3 1/2 months ago. I'm three weeks out and I just hope I can feel half as good as he looks," Powell said. "It's a major operation. It knocks your system for quite a loop. He's going out and playing while he's taking chemo. That is really great to see."

Pub Date: 9/21/97

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