NBC’s Olympics broadcasting team will be short one of the industry’s most colorful personalities (and some of the most colorful jackets), as news broke Thursday that veteran sideline reporter Craig Sager would no longer be traveling to Rio.
The 65-year-old returned to the MD Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas to seek additional treatments for leukemia, the network announced.
“He is preparing for a third bone marrow transplant which will prevent him from covering the Olympics in Rio,” the network said in a press release. “We wish him the best in his continued recovery.”
Sager was diagnosed with leukemia in April 2014. After undergoing treatment, including two stem-cell transplants and chemotherapy, Sager was well enough to return to his job with TNT at the start of the 2015-16 NBA season. In March, however, Sager announced his leukemia had come back. Vowing to fight it, Sager continued to appear occasionally on broadcasts, including at Game 6 of this year’s NBA Finals. Rio would’ve been Sager’s first Olympic Games.
Sager has not commented on the latest news, however, he has been vocal about his fight with the disease in the past.
“To everybody out there, we are making progress — incredible progress,” Sager said while accepting the Jimmy V Award at this year’s ESPYs earlier this month. “… We are going to find a cure for cancer.”