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Remy taking indefinite leave after cancer surgery

Posted by Michael Vega, Globe Staff  May 6, 2009 07:12 PM

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New England Sports Network has announced Jerry Remy, the beloved color commentator of NESN's Red Sox telecasts and president of Red Sox Nation, will be taking an indefinite leave from the broadcast booth to recover from cancer surgery, which he underwent late last year.

"I want to focus on completing my recovery,'' Remy said in a report posted on NESN.com, "so that I can return to work without distractions or interruptions.”

Remy joined NESN in 1988 and has teamed with play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo since 2001. Red Sox studio analyst and Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley will join Orsillo in the booth during the remainder of the team’s current homestand against the Indians, while studio analyst Dave Roberts, the former Red Sox outfielder and postseason hero, will provide color commentary during the team’s West Coast road trip May 12-17.

There has been no decision about Remy's replacement in the booth beyond that date.

"Jerry is beloved, and on behalf of everyone in Red Sox Nation, I want him to know that he is in our thoughts,” Red Sox chairman Tom Werner said. “We will sorely miss him in the broadcast, but the most important thing is that he takes all the time he needs to recover.”

A former smoker who underwent surgery for lung cancer late last year, Remy had expected to return to the booth this season, but an infection and a subsequent case of pneumonia forced him to miss most of spring training.

“I hope that disclosing my bout with cancer will reinforce the dangers of smoking to every member of Red Sox Nation, especially children,” Remy said.

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