- Associated Press - Monday, February 10, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan said Monday he has been diagnosed with cancer and he will not be with the team for the start of spring training so he can focus on treatment and recovery.

The Twins released a statement from the 60-year-old Ryan that described the recent discovery of a lump in his neck by the team physician during a routine annual physical. The subsequent biopsy revealed squamous cell carcinoma, which is a form of skin cancer.

“Thankfully, incremental tests indicate the cancer appears to be confined to my neck and has not spread to other regions of my body,” Ryan said, adding in his statement: “I’ve been assured this form of cancer is treatable and remain optimistic about my return to good health in the near future.”

He began informing the Twins of the situation last week, assistant general manager Rob Antony said.

“Just hope and pray that’s all accurate that they can knock all that out and he can bounce back and be fine,” Antony said. “He’s a pretty stoic, tough guy, but he’s also somebody who understands life and realizes this is a serious thing and that he needs to take care of his health for himself and his family right now. There comes a time when your work and stuff has to get put on the backburner, and you need to take care of yourself.”

Ryan has begun treatment at two area centers: the Mayo Clinic and Minnesota Oncology, at Eyunni’s direction. He said he’s “highly confident in the proven leadership” of the team’s baseball operations department, including Antony, vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff and manager Ron Gardenhire. Ryan also thanked the doctors for their work and friends and colleagues for their support.

“In addition, we are grateful for the many friends and colleagues who have sent their well wishes and support throughout this challenging time,” Ryan said. “It’s my intention to see you back at the ballpark as soon as possible.”

Ryan initially became general manager in 1994, stepping down 13 years later, citing burnout. After serving as a special assistant to general manager Bill Smith for four seasons, Smith was reassigned, and Ryan reassumed the job in 2011.

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