Earlier this season, Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Jameson Taillon was diagnosed with testicular cancer. And after missing the past month because of surgery, Taillon will return to the team next week.
Pirates beat writer Stephen J. Nesbitt confirmed the news on his Twitter account earlier Friday.
— Stephen J. Nesbitt (@stephenjnesbitt) June 9, 2017
Taillon tested positive for testicular cancer on May 17 and had surgery the next day. The 25-year-old is in his second MLB season for the Pirates.
After less than three weeks post-surgery, the right-hander returned to the mound and pitched a gem. It was his first rehab start and he threw three innings with six strikeouts and one walk.
He told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette what it meant to him after being diagnosed with cancer a few weeks earlier.
“It was therapeutic,” Taillon said after his start in Erie. “The pitching mound — not to sound corny — is where I feel most comfortable. That’s where I spend a lot of my time. That’s my job.”
Sports provides plenty of opportunities to get away from life, even for athletes themselves. And Taillon is using it as therapy from something that could have killed him.
As the pitcher returns to the mound in the majors, he will look to give the Pirates some life. Pittsburgh is struggling–Gerrit Cole specifically–and the team needs inspiration from somewhere. And Taillon is the source that the team can gather around for inspiration.
The Pirates are in fifth place in the NL Central with a 26-34 record. But Pittsburgh is only 5.5 games back of the Brewers who are in first place.
Upon his return, Taillon can be Pittsburgh’s savior and will be the rallying cry for their fans.
Watch: Jameson Taillon 2016 rookie highlights