Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter was diagnosed Tuesday with a malignant brain tumour called a glioblastoma and will treat it with chemotherapy and radiation.
Doctors at The Preston Robert Tisch Brain Tumor Center at Duke University say the location of the tumour makes it difficult to remove through an operation. Carter was returning home to Florida to begin the next part of his treatment.
"Mr. Carter's youth, strong physical condition and fighting spirit will be to his advantage as his treatment commences," said Doctors Allan H. Friedman and Henry S. Friedman, the co-deputy directors of the centre.
"The outpouring of support for Mr. Carter has been incredible and we trust that his many friends and fans will join us in continuing to pray for him and his family."
The 57-year-old Carter, who just completed his second season as Palm Beach Atlantic University's baseball coach, announced May 21 that an MRI had revealed four small tumours on his brain. The Duke Medicine release mentions a single tumour.
Carter hit .262 with 324 homers and 1,225 RBIs in 19 seasons in the majors. The 11-time all-star played his last game with the Montreal Expos in 1992 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. He was also inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001.
"While we are saddened by the news we received today, we take comfort in the overwhelming support and prayers that have been extended to our family during this difficult time," Carter's family said in the Duke Medicine release. "We have boundless faith and hope knowing that the Lord will help see us through the challenging weeks and months ahead."
The effervescent Carter, nicknamed "Kid," is perhaps best known for helping the Mets win the 1986 World Series. He had 24 homers and 105 RBIs that year, then drove in 11 runs in the post-season.
He was runner-up for National League rookie of the year with the Expos in 1975, losing out to San Francisco Giants pitcher John Montefusco. He played 10 seasons in Montreal before joining the Mets in 1984. Eight years later, he returned to Montreal for his final season at age 38.
Several former teammates have expressed their concern and offered their support since Carter announced the results of the MRI.
"Gary is getting the best care possible and is blessed with an incredible support network including family, friends and loyal fans," his family said. "Gary was always a fierce competitor on the baseball field and that same tenacity will help him not only fight but win this battle, so please join Team Carter and continue to pray with our family."