NBA on TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager’s cancer is no longer in remission, according to a trailer for Tuesday night’s episode of HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.
Sager has battled acute myeloid leukemia for the past two years, and according to the trailer, doctors informed him in February that he was no longer in remission. Known for his chipper demeanor and flamboyant wardrobe, Sager spent almost all of the past two years away from the sideline while undergoing treatment but returned last month in time for the NBA All-Star game.
It is not clear whether Sager’s latest setback will cause him to once away step away from his job.
Asked by HBO what’s next for him:
“I’ve already had two stem cell transplants. Very rarely does somebody have a third,” Sager told HBO. “So I have to maintain my strength, so I can go through this.”
And asked how he’s feeling today:
“Still kicking, still fighting. I haven’t won the battle. It’s not over yet. But I haven’t lost it, either.
There have been some victories and some setbacks, but I still have to fight it. A lot of work to do.”
Last month, Sager told Awful Announcing he was excited about returning to the air and optimistic about his medical situation, but said cancer had necessitated changes in his lifestyle.
“I don’t have the energy or strength to run like I used to,” said Sager. “They said it might take up to a year to get my full strength back. I’ve been riding an exercise bike and doing stuff like that so I can get my strength back. I’m back playing golf. I’m trying – it’s not the same nonstop, 24 hour a day, burning the candle at both ends like I used to, but I’m slowly getting all my strength back and getting better every day.”
This is the second time Sager has come back to TNT only to almost immediately suffer another setback. Last March, Sager was preparing to help broadcast the NCAA Tournament when his leukemia returned, forcing him to undergo more chemotherapy instead.
We wish Sager the best of luck with his treatment and hope we get to see his outrageous suits on NBA sidelines again soon.