Digger Phelps declares he's cancer-free

In late April, news came down that college basketball commentator Digger Phelps was battling bladder cancer. Less than three months later, Phelps has been declared cancer-free, per his doctors and then in his own words.

The former coach at Notre Dame received news on Monday from his physician that he'd staved off the disease after six weeks of intensive treatment.

Phelps, who still holds a program-record 393 victories while coaching the Irish, will turn 72 on Thursday. Phelps spoke to the South Bend Tribune about his great news just before the holiday/his birthday.

“He said, ‘You’re cancer-free; you’re fine,’” said Phelps, who broke the news to the Tribune during Tuesday’s Weekday Sportsbeat on WSBT radio. “I got a little emotional. I was tearful when I thought about it.”
Once he absorbed the doctor’s words, Phelps found a nearby bench and, as he does every day, said a quick prayer. He then called his fiancee, Linda, with the news. More tears followed.

As the story notes, this is not Phelps' first encounter with cancer. He beat prostate cancer after surgery more than three years ago. August will bring some more bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatments for his bladder, with checkups every three months for the next two years.

CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his eighth season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics,... Full Bio

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