Fred Toucher

After taking an extended leave of absence last month, Boston sports radio host Fred Toucher says he could return to 98.5 The Sports Hub as early as next week.

Toucher has been battling a voice issue since early February and has been off-air from his morning show on 98.5 The Sports Hub since April 7, when he announced he would be undergoing throat surgery in the near future. But the leave of absence might end soon, with Toucher recently going on Instagram live to inform fans his next doctor’s appointment is Monday, and if it goes well, he might be cleared to work again.

“I feel my voice is getting stronger,” Toucher says in the video. “I think that if I go to the doctor on Monday, he is going to give me permission to go back on the air. So what turned out as a big, big cancer scare, where I was given assurances that it was cancer in my throat, might turn out to be that I needed not to talk for a very long time.”

It’s not clear whether that means Toucher was able to avoid the surgery he was originally expecting to have when taking his leave of absence last month. But overcoming his chronic raspy voice and being medically cleared to return will be great news for Toucher with or without surgery.

Toucher’s news comes less than one week after he fired off multiple tweets about the lack of support he’s received from the show since taking his extended leave of absence. According to Toucher, he has not heard from co-host Rich Shertenlieb despite experiencing a “cancer scare,” adding that producer Mike Lockhart is the only person who reached out to him.

During the Instagram live session to announce he could be cleared to work again as early as next week, Toucher reiterated that he still has not heard from Shertenlieb. And last month, Toucher claimed station management was using his voice issue against him in contract negotiations, which could cause some speculation as to whether the station is excited about his looming return.

Toucher and Shertenlieb have been radio co-hosts since 2006, becoming ratings juggernauts in recent years on 98.5 The Sports Hub, where they’ve hosted their morning show since 2009.

[Fred Toucher, via Boston Radio Watch]

About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to