Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Taillon Is Scheduled to Pitch Sunday for Class AA Curve

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Taillon Is Scheduled to Pitch Sunday for Class AA Curve

Article excerpt

Sunday, one day shy of three weeks since having surgery for testicular cancer, Jameson Taillon will return to pitch for Class AA Altoona in Erie. Taillon will begin his rehabilitation assignment with the Curve, starting his climb back to the majors.

Taillon, 25, was placed on the 10-day disabled list May 6 and had surgery two days later, a procedure to remove a potentially cancerous tumor performed by Dr. John C. Lyne at Allegheny General Hospital. The pathology report came back positive for testicular cancer, but doctors believe they detected it early. So far, Taillon has had no chemotherapy.

For the past three weeks, Pirates players and staff have worn "JAMO #50" wristbands.

Taillon has heard from fans and fellow players who have had similar surgeries. He texts often with Colorado Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis, who was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November. Bettis' cancer was more advanced, and the treatment more aggressive. Bettis has yet to return to throwing, but he told Taillon Thursday to not hesitate getting back on the mound.

After a week of rest, Taillon was cleared to begin playing catch. He stepped back on the mound for the first time Tuesday in Atlanta for his first bullpen session. He threw again Thursday, a 35-pitch session he described as "more competitive" than the first.

"Every step along the way has been a relief," Taillon said in Atlanta. "Every little step of good news is a relief in its own way. Being out here, being around the guys, that's the biggest relief. That's my comfort zone.

"I just want to return to normalcy. I know it's everyone's job to talk about it, but I want to get to a point where ... I'm not the center of attention, and I just make my headlines pitching."

Taillon has a 3.31 ERA in six starts for the Pirates this season. The second-overall pick in the 2010 draft, he missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons because of Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery and hernia surgery. …

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