Tony Gwynn undergoing surgery for tumor


SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn had surgery Tuesday to remove a new cancerous tumor inside his right cheek.

Gwynn, now San Diego State's baseball coach, previously had a malignant growth removed from the same spot in August 2010.

Gwynn's wife, Alicia, told ESPN that doctors do not believe the cancer has spread outside of Gwynn's salivary gland. But she said she expected to know more after the operation at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California San Diego.

Gwynn had blamed the original growth on his use of smokeless tobacco.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Tony and his family today," Padres CEO Jeff Moorad said in a statement. "Tony has a fighting spirit and we have faith that he will continue to battle this disease with the same perseverance that was the hallmark of his playing career. We know Mr. Padre has all of San Diego rooting for him."

San Diego State said, if the cancer "is found to be localized," Gwynn should be able to return to coach the Aztecs soon.

"Tony has been feeling great and is enthusiastic about coaching," Athletic Director Jim Sterk said. "He sees this as a temporary setback and we look forward to having him back in the dugout when he is ready."