Legendary college basketball voice Dick Vitale revealed Thursday that «previous problems with my vocal cords» have returned and that he will undergo a pair of surgeries this summer to correct the problem.
Vitale, 84, posted a series of tweets noting that he is resting his voice in preparation for the first procedure, which is scheduled for July 11. Once he finishes the surgery, Vitale will be on voice rest for six to eight weeks.
Despite the setback, Vitale expressed optimism when talking about the possibility of calling games this upcoming season.
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«That part is very frustrating because I feel trapped without being able to express myself,» Vitale tweeted. «The positive news (it’s Dr. Steven Zeitels, throat specialist) is optimistic to have me ready for my 45 years at ESPN.»
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Vitale said he is determined to bounce back.
«I received some bad news, but when I realize it is less than what some face on a daily basis, I will fight to recover. I have been informed by the acclaimed vocal cord surgeon Dr. Zeitel that my previous problems with my vocal cords have returned. I must having 2 surgeries this summer, July 1, 11 I need your (prayers),» Vitale wrote.
Last year, Vitale underwent surgery due to his ongoing battle with vocal cord dysplasia. The procedure of February 2022 temporarily paralyzed his broadcasting functions.
After a three-hour surgery, Vitale said the doctor «got what he needed for dysplasia and ulcerative lesions.» He was put on vocal rest for four weeks.
In October 2021, Vitale revealed that doctors had diagnosed him with lymphoma. Just a few months before Vitale’s announcement, he underwent several procedures to remove the melanoma and was declared cancer-free. His dysplasia diagnosis was made public that December.
Vitale shared the news when he took to Twitter, writing that he had gone from «in remission to CANCER FREE» in August 2022.
Vitale’s college coaching career began in the 1970s when he became an assistant at Rutgers. He later coached at the Detroit Mercy before being named head coach of the Detroit Pistons.
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Vitale is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame. He has called games on ESPN for more than four decades.