Twins general manager Terry Ryan has been diagnosed with cancer in his neck, and he will miss spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., the team announced Monday.
The 60-year-old Ryan is being treated at the Mayo Clinic, the team said in a statement in Ryan's name, after a lump was found in his neck during a routine physical exam. The lump was found to be cancerous, though "incremental tests indicate the cancer appears to be confined to my neck, and has not spread to other regions of my body," Ryan's statement said. "I've been assured this form of cancer is treatable and [I] remain optimistic about my return to good health in the near future."
Ryan will turn over leadership of the team to assistant general manager Rob Antony, director of player personnel Mike Radcliff, and manager Ron Gardenhire while he focuses on treatment and recovery from the condition, known as squamous cell carcinoma. The Twins open training camp next week, with pitchers and catchers scheduled to report to Fort Myers on Sunday.
According to the Mayo Clinic's web site, squamous cell carcinoma is usually not life-threatening, though it can be aggressive in some cases. The Mayo site calls it "a common form of skin cancer that develops in the thin, flat squamous cells that make up the outer layer of the skin."
Ryan has been with the Twins since 1986, and is in his second stint as general manager. He held the post from Sept. 1994 until the end of the 2007 season, then returned to the position on Nov. 7, 2011.
A two-time Executive of the Year, as named by The Sporting News in 2002 and 2006, Ryan was drafted by the Twins in the 35th round in 1972 and pitched in the organization for four seasons before suffering a career-ending injury. The Janesville, Wis., native and his wife Karilyn have two children.
Ryan's statement also thanked Twins team physician Dr. Vijay Eyunni, "as well as the doctors and medical staff at the Mayo Clinic and Minnesota Oncology. In addition, we are grateful for the many friends and colleagues who have sent their well-wishes and support throughout this challenging time," it read. "It's my intention to see you back at the ballpark as soon as possible."