ESPN collegiate basketball analyst Dick Vitale is taking the rest of the season off to prepare for voice surgery

College basketball analyst Dick Vitale will not be returning to ESPN this season as he continues to rest his voice and prepares for surgery to treat dysplasia and ulcerated vocal cord lesions.

in one Story posted on ESPN Front Row On Monday, Vitale wrote that he had a follow-up visit with Massachusetts General Hospital’s throat specialist, Dr. Steven Zeitels, and was advised to give his voice “an even longer ‘TO, baby!'” in anticipation of surgery in the near future.

“While I’m heartbroken that I won’t be appearing on ESPN for the rest of this season, I’m heartened by the progress,” Vitale said, noting that vocal rest over the past three weeks reduced inflammation in his throat by 60 percent.

Once the inflammation has healed, an appointment will be made for the operation.

“My throat condition is definitely moving in the right direction, and Dr. Z. is very optimistic that this can be successfully addressed to set me strong on ESPN for the 2022-23 season,” Vitale wrote.

Vitale had undergone cancer treatment last year.

“Dick Vitale is rightly synonymous with college basketball and his absence from televised broadcasts for the remainder of this season will leave an irreplaceable void. At ESPN, we join the millions of fans who can’t wait for him to call games from the arenas anytime he’s ready,” said James Pitaro, chairman of ESPN and sports content for The Walt Disney Company.

In his post on Monday, Vitale said he will be “forever grateful” for the messages of encouragement from friends, fans, media and colleagues, saying, “I love people and am honored to receive such overwhelming support.”

Vitale added: “I will continue to provide updates as I go forward and I have every faith that I will win this battle and get back to doing what I love – calling games on the field next season. In the meantime I will enjoy all the great games from my living room and enjoy the love of my wonderful family. Thank you all.”

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