ANAHEIM — The gregarious chatter of Andrew Lambo could heard throughout the A’s clubhouse Monday afternoon, and that was great news for everyone inside there.
Lambo, the outfielder who was playing for Triple-A Nashville when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer in June, is spending the next three days at Angel Stadium in uniform and working out with the club before games.
Lambo underwent surgery June 17 at Vanderbilt University to remove a tumor. He has since been declared cancer-free, although doctors are still monitoring a lymph node in his stomach that is two-tenths of a centimeter bigger than normal. Radiation treatment is still a possibility, but if it’s found that all of his lymph nodes are simply larger than normal, radiation won’t be necessary.
“I’m doing good,” said the 28-year-old Lambo, who lives in nearby Westwood. “We just went in Sept. 15 and did another assessment. There’s no cancer in my body. … We’re in an amazing situation, because the worst-case scenario is I have radiation for two weeks. Right now my job is to go live life.”
Lambo, who hit .333 for the A’s as a non-roster invitee to spring training, said he began feeling run down at the end of camp. Early in the Triple-A season, he knew something wasn’t right when he was making solid contact at the plate and the ball simply wasn’t carrying like it normally would. He feared the worst upon getting his diagnosis.
“Bucket-list time,” he said.
But his doctors at Vanderbilt, including Dr. Sam Cheng, who performed his procedure, told him recovery rate in his individual case was 97 percent.
Lambo said he’s been blown away by how well A’s officials have treated him throughout his illness. His Nashville teammates rallied around him too. After his diagnosis, a group of them went over to Lambo’s place in Nashville to watch NBA Finals games.
“Pretty much from the beginning, it was a good prognosis,” said second baseman Joey Wendle, who was with Nashville at the time. “Lambo is a positive guy, a high-energy guy. When we were able to spend some time with him, it settled everybody a bit.”
Lambo was one of the most loquacious personalities in the A’s clubhouse during spring training. Being back around his teammates Monday, many of whom have been promoted in recent weeks from Nashville, he seemed to be his old self.
“He’s in good spirits, I think he’s in a good place,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “It’s good to have him here. … He’s one of those extroverts, so to speak. Having guys like that around, it’s nice to have.”
Lambo would love to play winter ball, he said, but doesn’t know if that’s realistic. He said he has been swinging the bat a little and has every intention of resuming his career.
Temperatures soared over 100 degrees in Anaheim during the afternoon, but things had cooled considerably as first pitch approached. Still, the A’s condensed their on-field batting practice and will bypass B.P. completely on Tuesday.