Connor Joe, a minor-league player for the Los Angeles Dodgers, recently announced that he underwent surgery after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He had been competing for a roster spot with the Dodgers, but the doctors discovered cancer after a battery of tests. Joe confirmed the surgery on March 17 and explained that he is now recovering and optimistic about his future.
"As some of you may know, I made the difficult decision to leave Spring Training 3 weeks ago to attend to personal matters. After some tests and visits with doctors, I unfortunately learned that I have Testicular Cancer," Joe wrote on Instagram. "The good news is that we caught it early, and cases like mine are very curable. I have started treatment, underwent surgery yesterday and am in my recovery process now. I recognize the road ahead may be challenging and uncomfortable at times, but God is good and I am staying positive for a quick and full recovery."
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Joe was a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates during the 2014 MLB June Amateur Draft. He spent part of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants and appeared in eight games. He was later sent back to the Dodgers and their Triple-A affiliate, the Oklahoma City Dodgers.
Joe was effective overall during the 2019 season with a .300 batting average and a .426 on-base percentage in 446 plate appearances. The San Diego native also hit 15 home runs during the season.
"I am extremely grateful for my wonderful family, friends, the Dodgers organization and teammates for their incredible love and support during this difficult time," Joe wrote on Instagram. "Although we tend to shy away from these topics, I am sharing my journey in the hope that this brings more awareness to Men’s Health, and can help others as a result."
With MLB halting spring training and postponing the start of the regular season due to COVID-19, there will be no baseball for the foreseeable future. Minor League Baseball also followed suit and delayed the start of the season. Joe can simply focus on his recovery process and preparing for his next opportunity.
"Thank you again for your continued support, it means the world to me and my family. I will keep you updated on my path to recovery," Joe said. "I look forward to being back in the game as soon as I am able. Trusting in His plan."
(Photo Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)