Medical update on Buddy Ryan

September, 27, 2011
9/27/11
1:01
PM ET
Former NFL coach Buddy Ryan, Rex Ryan's famous father, is preparing to radiation treatment to battle cancer that spread to the lymph nodes in his neck, according to his doctor.

Five days after the Jets' season-opening win over the Cowboys -- aka the Ryan Bowl -- Ryan underwent surgery at the University of Kentucky's Good Samaritan Hospital.

Ryan "has skin cancer. He's had a lot of skin cancers through the years," his surgeon, Dr. Joseph Valentino, told the Herald-Leader of Lexington. "This time, it had spread to the lymph nodes in his neck."

Soon, Ryan will begin five to six weeks of radiation therapy.

In an interview with the newspaper, conducted Monday, Ryan wore a Jets cap and his Super Bowl III ring from the 1968 Jets. He was an assistant coach on that team. Ryan still is as feisty as ever. He was asked about the 1993 sideline incident in Houston, where he punched fellow Oilers assistant Kevin Gilbride -- currently the Giants' offensive coordinator -- during a heated dispute.

"You mean Kevin Gil-dumb?" Ryan asked. "He was wrong. He came at me and what are you going to do when someone comes at you? I slugged him."

Rich Cimini

ESPN New York Jets reporter

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