- Robbi Pickeral, College Basketball
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The tumor on North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams' left kidney is noncancerous, the school announced Thursday night.
The results of a Wednesday biopsy showed the tumor is an oncocytoma, which is often indistinguishable from kidney cancer on X-rays. It is the same kind of noncancerous tumor the Hall of Fame coach had removed from his right kidney during a 3½-hour operation Sept. 19. Unlike cancerous tumors, oncocytomas do not spread.
Williams will not require surgery on his left kidney, Dr. Eric Wallen, professor of urology at UNC, said in a prepared statement. That means the coach should be on the court when the Tar Heels open preseason practice in fewer than 10 days.
"The result of the biopsy of the tumor on the left side is great news for Coach Williams and his family," Wallen said in the statement released by the school. "He is recovering very well and we will continue to follow his progress. In the meantime, he can return to his normal schedule, including the team's first practice on October 13th."
Williams, 62, is set to begin his 10th season as head coach at UNC, which he has led to two national titles. He has experienced a few medical issues -- vertigo, shoulder surgery, back spasms -- during his tenure in Chapel Hill, but he never has missed a game.
"Once again I want to say how overwhelmed my family and I are by the support and concern of so many former players, members of the Tar Heel family and friends and fellow coaches from around the country," Williams said in a prepared statement. "Saying I'm overwhelmed truly doesn't give justice to how much I appreciate all their thoughts and good wishes. The support has been off the charts.
"The level of professionalism, compassion and care that the entire medical team at UNC Health Care provided to my family and me has been extraordinary. Dr. Wallen and his staff have helped us get through a difficult process better than I ever could have expected.
"I also want to thank my family, especially Wanda, Scott, Kim and Katie, and my staff and players, for helping me get through these last three and a half weeks. The degree to which their love and support helped me is something I will never be able to adequately express."