Colon tests sideline Yankees' Strawberry Spot the size of 'pimple' raises fears of cancer

October 01, 1998|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,SUN STAFF

NEW YORK -- Outfielder Darryl Strawberry did not accompany the New York Yankees on the team flight to Texas late last night. He remained behind to undergo tests today to determine the cause of a lingering intestinal problem.

Club officials had little to say about Strawberry's condition before last night's Division Series game against the Texas Rangers at Yankee Stadium, but he apparently will undergo a colonoscopy to rule out colon cancer after a spot the size of "a pimple" reportedly was found on his colon.

"We're going to miss him," said Yankees manager Joe Torre, "and we're going to be concerned about him until we find out he's OK."

Strawberry has been suffering from intestinal discomfort for several weeks. He underwent an examination yesterday and visited the ballpark just long enough to talk to his teammates and tell Torre he would not be in uniform for last night's game.

He then returned to his New Jersey home to prepare for today's examination.

"He came in and said 'I'm sorry skip, I'm not going to be available,' " Torre said. "That's the kind of guy he is. He has that athlete's one-track mind."

Though there are several possible explanations for the abdominal symptoms, Torre conceded that the club is concerned about the possibility of colon cancer, the same disease that struck Strawberry's close friend, Orioles outfielder Eric Davis.

"Anytime you take tests, cancer is the one thing you fear," Torre said. "That's the one thing that comes to mind. Hopefully, by tomorrow we'll be able to clear things up."

If the tests show no serious problem, Strawberry could rejoin the team in time for Game 3 tomorrow night in Texas.

Strawberry probably would have been in the lineup for last night's game against right-hander Rick Helling if he had been healthy.

Instead, September sensation Shane Spencer made his postseason debut in left field and homered in his first at-bat.

Pub Date: 10/01/98

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