ESPN’s Vitale to have procedures on vocal cords

Dick Vitale, the Hall of Fame voice of ESPN’s college basketball coverage, said Thursday that he’ll be sidelined for about two months following a pair of surgeries on his vocal cords.

Vitale made the announcement on social media, adding he does expect to return for his 45th season on ESPN broadcasts later this year.

In a series of posts on Twitter, the 84-year-old Vitale said “past issues on my vocal cords have returned.” He said he’s currently on “voice rest” ahead of the first procedure July 11, after which he’ll be on “on total voice rest for 6-8 weeks” while recovering.

“That part is so frustrating as I feel trapped not being able to express myself,” Vitale wrote. “The positive news [is that Dr. Steven Zeitels] is optimistic to have me ready for my 45th yr on ESPN.”

Vitale has been with ESPN since 1979, the year the network launched. He called ESPN’s first college basketball broadcast.

In 2021, Vitale was diagnosed with lymphoma, months after he had multiple surgeries to remove melanoma. He chronicled his treatments and recovery on social media, posting photos of doctor visits and hospital stays while issuing motivational tips recorded before he was put on voice rest. Last year, he announced that he was cancer-free.

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