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Tomjanovich treats cancerous tumor

Posted: Wednesday, March 19, 2003

HOUSTON (AP) Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich has a cancerous tumor on his bladder lining that the team said will be treated without surgery.

The 54-year-old coach was released from the hospital and was resting at home, the Rockets said Tuesday.

Team physician Dr. James Muntz said Tomjanovich has transitional cell cancer of the bladder.'' The coach will begin weekly treatments in two weeks, but Muntz did not specify the nature of the treatments.

Rudy's treatment options are optimistic,'' Muntz said following a biopsy of the bladder lining Monday by Dr. Richard Goldfarb.

Tomjanovich was to miss Tuesday night's game at Seattle. Assistant Larry Smith coached the team in his absence.

Tomjanovich entered Methodist Hospital on Monday for tests as his team headed to Seattle, planning to join the team during its five-game West Coast road trip. Before Tuesday night, Tomjanovich had never missed a game in his 11-plus seasons as coach.

After recovering from a bladder infection about a month ago, Tomjanovich said he went in for routine follow-up tests, the second of which turned up abnormal cells. He informed his team after a victory over Phoenix on Sunday.

Smith said before Tuesday night's game that the players responded well to the news of Tomjanovich's illness.

There were a lot of sad faces this morning, but the guys know the coach is a fighter, and the most important thing for us to remember is that he is going to get better,'' Smith said.

I don't know if he's ever missed a game before, but we're going to miss him on the bench tonight,'' forward James Posey said. He's doing what he needs to do right now. He'll be back with us as soon as he can. We're looking forward to that.''



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