Worcestershire: Tom Fell now faces chemotherapy and is sidelined until June
Worcestershire's Tom Fell has suffered a setback in his bid to recover from testicular cancer and will miss the start of the 2016 season.
The 22-year-old batsman had surgery in early October after being diagnosed at the end of last season - and was cleared to go to Australia to play grade cricket in Perth.
But a small area of cancer in his lymph nodes has been detected in a CT scan.
He must now stay in England to have a course of chemotherapy.
Fell had returned from Australia in time to set off on the county's pre-season tour to Abu Dhabi, but he now does not expect to be back in action until June.
"It came as a complete shock because I did a blood test in Australia and that was all fine," he said. "I got back here and had the CT scan, which detected a little bit of cancer in the lymph nodes 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 and each cycle lasts three weeks.
"If I'm feeling OK, there is no reason why I can't be back up and running by June and hopefully playing again at that stage.
"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."
Fell scored 1,084 runs, including three centuries, at an average of 41.69 in last summer's County Championship.
Worcestershire director of cricket Steve Rhodes added: "Obviously we are absolutely gutted for Tom. He enjoyed his time in Perth and was looking forward to the pre-season tour.
"However, his health is the most important thing to all of us here at Worcester and we wish him a speedy recovery."