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Red Sox prospect diagnosed with cancer
05/16/2008 7:56 PM ET
BOSTON -- The Red Sox announced Friday night that Minor League first baseman Anthony Rizzo has been diagnosed with Limited Stage Classical Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

The 18-year-od Rizzo was hitting .373 with 11 RBIs at Class A Greenville, where he last played on April 26.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Anthony and his family at this very difficult time," said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. "We are optimistic about his recovery and look forward to the day he can return to the playing field."

Rizzo is being treated as an outpatient at Massachusetts General Hospital's oncology unit.

Two seasons ago, Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester was diagnosed with analaplastic large cell lymphoma. Lester returned in 2007 and won the clinching Game 4 of the World Series and is currently a member of Boston's starting rotation.

Sox third baseman Mike Lowell had testicular cancer in 1999 when he was with the Marlins and made a full recovery.

Rizzo was selected by the Red Sox in the sixth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft.

This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.