SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - San Diego sports broadcaster Ted Leitner will be taking an indefinite leave from broadcasting after being diagnosed with cancer.
Leitner, 70, revealed his diagnosis on Twitter Tuesday, saying he "will be off the Padres broadcast indefinitely after Wednesday's game."
"Thank you Padres fans and Aztec Family for all your wonderful support all these wonderful years," he added.
"Uncle Teddy" has long been celebrated as a Padres legend and voice of San Diego sports for years. An outpouring of support followed Leitner's tweet.
The Padres released a statement Tuesday wishing the longtime broadcaster a speedy recovery:
“We wish our dear friend, Ted Leitner, a speedy recovery from surgery. While we’ll miss hearing his voice in the booth over the next few weeks, we know he’ll be back healthy and stronger than ever. Our thoughts and prayers are with him during this time.”
According to Padres.com beat writer AJ Cassavell, Leitner will be receiving treatment for a cancerous tumor in one of his kidneys and is scheduled for surgery Thursday to have the kidney removed. The cancer hasn't spread, doctors say, and a successful surgery will help greatly with Leitner's recovery, Cassavell reported.
Last year was Leitner's 38th season on the broadcast team for the Padres and his 40th broadcasting in San Diego. He's often used "my Padres" and "the boys" when referring to the team over nearly four decades.
Leitner has been the voice for San Diego State University Aztecs football and basketball, San Diego Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Clippers, the University of Oklahoma and the University of Connecticut as well. He also spent 25 years as a sports anchor for KFMB-TV from 1978 until 2002.
For now, fellow broadcasters Jesse Agler, Tony Gwynn Jr., Bob Scanlan, and Mark Grant will work to fill the broadcast role while Leitner recovers, Cassavell reported.