Nationals owner Mark Lerner had cancer, leg amputated

Mark Lerner, Dusty Baker
FILE – In this July 6, 2016, file photo, Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, talks with manager Dusty Baker in the dugout before the team’s baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Nationals Park in Washington. Lerner said Thursday night, Aug. 17, 2017, in a letter to a Washington Post columnist that he had cancer and had his left leg amputated. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2014, file photo, Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner watches batting practice before Game 4 of the baseball team's NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco. Lerner said Thursday night, Aug. 17, 2017, in a letter to a Washington Post columnist that he had cancer and had his left leg amputated. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
FILE – In this Oct. 7, 2014, file photo, Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner watches batting practice before Game 4 of the baseball team’s NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco. Lerner said Thursday night, Aug. 17, 2017, in a letter to a Washington Post columnist that he had cancer and had his left leg amputated. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, embraces Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who is covered with chocolate syrup, after Scherzer's no-hitter baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 6-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, embraces Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who is covered with chocolate syrup, after Scherzer’s no-hitter baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 6-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner flashes two thumbs up after the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in baseball's draft, at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner flashes two thumbs up after the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in baseball’s draft, at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, shakes hands with the baseball team's president, Stan Kasten, right, after the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in the baseball draft, at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, shakes hands with the baseball team’s president, Stan Kasten, right, after the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in the baseball draft, at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, left, stands with owner Mark Lerner before a baseball game with the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, left, stands with owner Mark Lerner before a baseball game with the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner, left, departs after talking with starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) before a baseball against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner, left, departs after talking with starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) before a baseball against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

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Mark Lerner, Dusty Baker
FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2014, file photo, Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner watches batting practice before Game 4 of the baseball team's NL Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in San Francisco. Lerner said Thursday night, Aug. 17, 2017, in a letter to a Washington Post columnist that he had cancer and had his left leg amputated. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, embraces Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer, who is covered with chocolate syrup, after Scherzer's no-hitter baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Nationals Park, Saturday, June 20, 2015, in Washington. The Nationals won 6-0. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner flashes two thumbs up after the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in baseball's draft, at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner, left, shakes hands with the baseball team's president, Stan Kasten, right, after the Nationals selected pitcher Stephen Strasburg with the first pick in the baseball draft, at Nationals Park in Washington, Tuesday, June 9, 2009. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo, left, stands with owner Mark Lerner before a baseball game with the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park on Monday, Aug. 20, 2012, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner, left, departs after talking with starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez (47) before a baseball against the Atlanta Braves at Nationals Park, Monday, Aug. 5, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Washington Nationals owner Mark Lerner said Thursday night in a letter to a Washington Post columnist that he had cancer and had his left leg amputated.

In the letter to columnist Barry Svrluga, the 63-year-old Lerner wrote:

“Thanks very much for your concern and good wishes. I know you recognize that only something really challenging would have kept me from my favorite seat at the ballpark these past months. In early January, they discovered Spindle Cell Sarcoma in my left leg above the knee. Radiation was completed in March and I had surgery in April to successfully remove the cancer. The radiation treatment eventually caused the wound not to heal properly.

“With my doctors and medical team, we decided that amputation of that leg was my best choice to maintain the active and busy lifestyle that I have always enjoyed. The limb was removed in early August and I’m healing well, cancer-free, and looking forward to my eventual new prosthetic.

“I’ve been very blessed with my wonderful wife Judy, who has never left my side, our great kids, amazing family and close friends. I really appreciate everyone respecting our family’s privacy as we’ve gone through this. I’m not sure of the timeline yet, but you know I’ll be at Nationals Park as soon as I possibly can. Hope all is well with you.”

Lerner’s family purchased the Nationals from Major League Baseball in 2006.

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