Longtime Turner Sports sideline reporter Craig Sager was told by doctors that a patient in his condition "normally" has three to six months to live without treatment, according to a HBO Real Sports interview that will air Tuesday night.
"Well, you've got normally three to six months to live. But somebody may only have a week. Somebody may have five years. You could be the first one to five years," Sager said doctors told him, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated.
On Wednesday, Sager released a statement, per Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today, clarifying the three-to-six-month timetable is for someone who isn't receiving treatment:
Statement from Craig Sager who is fighting like a champion to beat cancer: pic.twitter.com/uLadPYIF9L— Jeff Zillgitt (@JeffZillgitt) March 23, 2016
Sager, 64, was first diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in April 2014. He has twice gone into remission, but the cancer resurfaced each time. The NBA sideline reporter has worked throughout the 2015-16 season after doctors said he was in remission a second time last October.
In a snippet of the Real Sports interview released Monday, Sager revealed his cancer had returned. He categorized the situation as "uncharted waters" for himself and doctors.
"I've already had two stem cell transplants. Very rarely does somebody have a third," Sager told Real Sports. "So I have to maintain my strength so I can go through this."
Sager did not indicate how doctors plan on treating the cancer this time around, but he said he'll do "whatever it takes" to go back into remission.
"Still kicking, still fighting. I haven't won the battle. It's not over yet. But I haven't lost it, either," Sager said. "There have been some victories and some setbacks, but I still have to fight it. I still have a lot of work to do."
Sager will continue to work while undergoing treatment, per Dan Devine of Yahoo Sports. He is scheduled for two games on the Turner Sports schedule next week—a March 29 tilt between the Washington Wizards and Golden State Warriors and a March 31 matchup between the Chicago Bulls and Houston Rockets.
LeBron James offered his support for Sager:
My prayers goes out to one of the best to ever do it Craig Sager!! Please Stay Strong. #CancerSucks— LeBron James (@KingJames) March 22, 2016
"I'm going to be that five years. I'm going to make medical history. ... I'm fighting this thing to the end. I have too much to do," Sager said, per Golliver.
Here's to hoping Sager makes that history.
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