DENVER - The spirit inside Coors Field Tuesday was in direct conflict with the gloomy weather looming in the Denver skyline.
Throughout the stadium, there was nothing but positive vibes, smiles and 'bro hugs', as Rockies Pitcher Chad Bettis made his return to the team after a long battle with cancer.
"It feels great (to be back)," Bettis said. "Physically, I feel good. But this is more of a mental thing. It's a huge weight off my shoulders."
Bettis will begin rehab now to get back into playing shape. The right-hander says there's no timetable for his return to game action, but he personally hopes to be back on the mound for the Rockies by the MLB All-Star Break in mid-July.
"I'm not sure if that's realistic or not, but that's my goal," Bettis said. "The strength is there. I just need to work on my stamina. I need to get my lung capacity back."
Colorado Manager Bud Black also wouldn't put a specific date on when fans can see Bettis back in the rotation.
"I don't think it's fair to put any sort of timeline on him," Black said. "But, it's just great to see Chad. There's been a ton of smiles and guy hugs today. We're happy to have him back."
Bettis initially was diagnosed with testicular cancer in November, and thought he had beat the cancer for good when he got to spring training after surgery.
However, the disease unexpectedly returned in March, forcing him to undergo chemotherapy.
But, just last month, Bettis took to Instagram to announce the good news that he had finished his last round of Chemo.
With one major hurdle already overcome, he'll continue his incredible road to recovery, until he's pitching in front of his teammates, his family and the thousands of screaming fans at Coors Field once again.
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