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Prognosis 'good' for Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher after surgery to remove cancerous growth on thyroid

February 13, 2011 |  1:10 pm

Mike-butcher_300 Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher will be slowed early in spring-training camp after undergoing surgery on Thursday to remove a cancerous growth on his thyroid gland.

Butcher, a former Angels reliever who is entering his fifth season as the team's pitching coach, went to his doctor in the Phoenix area because of a problem with his neck, and the doctor sent him to a specialist.

A biopsy determined the growth to be cancerous, and Butcher underwent surgery immediately. Team spokesman Tim Mead said the growth "was caught in the early stages" and that the prognosis for Butcher is "good."

Butcher was able to participate in some meetings on Sunday in anticipation of Monday's first workout for pitchers and catchers, but his availability early in camp will be limited as he recovers from the procedure.

"It's important for him that this issue be settled and he be recovered enough to do what he needs to do," Manager Mike Scioscia said. "I anticipate that he'll be a part of what we need to do in the next day or two. He might not be on the field [Monday], but he will be soon."

--Mike DiGiovanna, reporting from Tempe, Ariz.

Photo: Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays last May. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times