Orioles OF Mancini understands risk of COVID during chemo

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FILE – This is a 2020 file photo showing Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles baseball team. Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini is undergoing chemotherapy for Stage III colon cancer and expects to miss the 2020 season if major leaguers return this summer. Mancini had the malignant tumor removed shortly before turning 28 on March 18. He has been undergoing chemotherapy since April 13. Writing in the first person for The Players Tribune, Mancini saïd, “My treatment will take six months — every two weeks for six months. If baseball returns in 2020, it will probably be without me.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

BALTIMORE (AP) — Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini feels fortunate to have undergone colon cancer surgery before doctors became absorbed in treating COVID-19, and now he’s diligently and carefully working to avoid the virus while receiving chemotherapy.

Mancini was diagnosed with colon cancer on March 6 and had surgery six days later.

“With COVID really emerging kind of at the same time, I was lucky l got in when I did because they stopped doing a lot of surgeries the week after that,” Mancini said Wednesday in a teleconference with the Baltimore media.

The same day he had the malignant tumor removed, Major League Baseball suspended spring training and announced the delay of the regular season.

“That happened in the middle of my surgery, and I woke up and my mom and sisters told me they had shut down spring training,” Mancini said.

The 28-year-old said he will probably miss the 2020 season, but added, “I have no doubt in my mind I’ll be back playing baseball.”

Mancini batted .291 with 35 homers and 99 RBIs in 2019, his third full season in the big leagues.

His tumor was assessed as stage 3, which is defined as a cancer that has grown into nearby tissue or lymph nodes. Stage 4 is defined as a cancer that has spread to other parts of the body

Mancini received his first chemo treatment on April 13, had the second session Monday and will continue every other week. Mancini goes to the clinic alone and wears a mask every time he steps outside.

“You definitely have to take extra precautions if you’re going through chemotherapy,” he said. “By the end of the week, after the infusion your white and red blood cells can drop, making you more susceptible to contracting infections or the disease. I really have to be careful with all that.”

Since he has to go alone, Mancini said he’s passing time watching “The Wire” during the three-hour treatments.

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