Worcestershire batsman Tom Fell has suffered a setback in his bid to overcome cancer and will undergo a course of chemotherapy – but he is determined to remain positive and hoping to return to action during 2016 if the treatment proves effective.
Fell, Worcestershire's leading run-scorer in the County Championship last summer, was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the end of the 2015 camaign and underwent surgery in early October.
He was eventually given the green light to play grade cricket in Perth from early December with Mount Lawley and has had regular check-ups while Down Under.
But after flying back to England earlier this week he underwent a CT scan which detected a small area of cancer in his lymph nodes.
Fell will miss Worcestershire's 11-day pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi which gets underway today.
He said: "It came as a complete shock because I did a blood test in Australia and that was all fine.
"I got back here, had the CT scan which detected a little bit of cancer in the lymph modes that hadn't been there before.
"It is very small at the moment and they've got hold of it early but the only option now is to have the chemotherapy.
"I will have three sessions of chemo starting from the end of next week (March 11) and each cycle lasts three weeks.
"The third cycle ends about the middle of May and all being well, the understanding I was given was that, if I'm feeling okay, there is no reason why I can't be back up and running by June and hopefully playing again at that stage."
Fell added: "The important thing is to live your life, not mope about and get on with things. It is the best way to deal with it.
"You've got to stay positive and not feel sorry for yourself. If I react well, I might be able to still do certain things, do some training to keep fit, and head up to Worcester and be around the lads.
"I've had plenty of messages from the boys. I let them know this morning and everyone has come back with messages of support and phone calls.
"It's a shame I won't be on the plane with them to Abu Dhabi."
Worcestershire Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes said: "Obviously we are absolutely gutted for Tom.
"He enjoyed his time in Perth and was desperately looking forward to the pre-season tour and the start of the season with the boys.
"However his health is the most important thing to all of us here at Worcester and we wish him a speedy recovery towards getting back out on that cricket field."