Rockies' Bettis to start Monday for 1st time since cancer treatmentstheScore
Chad Bettis is about to make his triumphant return to the mound.
The 28-year-old, who has missed the entirety of the 2017 season so far after his testicular cancer was found to have spread during spring training, will make his first start of the season for the Colorado Rockies on Monday when they host the Atlanta Braves at Coors Field, according to Patrick Saunders of The Denver Post.
While the Rockies have yet to officially announce Monday's starter, manager Bud Black hinted that Bettis could get the nod earlier in the week. On Friday, Black told Saunders that he was one of three starters under consideration to take the hill that night, along with Tyler Chatwood and Antonio Senzatela.
Bettis was activated from the 60-day disabled list Aug. 5 after making five rehab appearances across two minor-league levels. But Colorado immediately optioned him to Triple-A Albuquerque so he could make one more start before rejoining the big club. In his most recent outing with Albuquerque on Tuesday, Bettis allowed just one run on three hits while striking out two over five innings.
He had surgery to remove a testicle in November following the initial cancer diagnosis and received a clean bill of health after the procedure. But upon arrival at spring training, it was discovered that the cancer spread, forcing him to leave the team and undergo chemotherapy.
Almost immediately after completing his chemo and receiving a clean bill of health in June, Bettis rejoined the Rockies and began rehabbing with the team.
Throughout his treatments, Bettis maintained he would return to the big leagues before the end of 2017.
"The way I see it, it's going to happen. I think it's a realistic goal," he told Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports in May while undergoing chemo. "At what point in time during the season I would be coming back is all kind of up in the air. But it's something that I'm going to be pushing to get to."
In 2016, Bettis was one of the Rockies' most reliable starters, posting a 4.79 ERA and 1.414 WHIP while striking out 138 batters across a team-high 32 starts and 186 innings pitched.
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