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Giants co-owner Mara has surgery for cancer

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (June 1, 2005) -- Wellington Mara, co-owner of the New York Giants, had surgery three weeks ago to remove cancerous lymph nodes from his neck and under his armpit.

"It is related to earlier skin cancer that he had had problems with on-and-off with for 25 years now," John Mara, Mara's son and the team's chief operating officer, said.

John Mara added that initial reports after the surgery at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York showed that the cancer had not spread.

"His prognosis is very good," John Mara said of his 88-year-old father, the NFL's senior owner and a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

John Mara said his father might need a radiation treatment.

As has been his habit for nearly 80 years, Wellington Mara attended part of both minicamp practices. "It was his schedule, not the doctor's," John Mara said of his father's decision to be there.

At the conclusion of the morning session, the Giants broke their team huddle by chanting, "One, two, three, Duke," which is Mara's nickname.

Wellington Mara shook hands with a couple of reporters leaving the field in the afternoon, but he let his son discuss his health.

"He is frustrated that he hasn't gotten better as quickly as he would like, but he's 88," John Mara said. "Each day I see him it appears he is a little better."

John Mara said his father recently discovered a lump under his arm. A CAT-scan detected the cancerous lymph nodes in his neck.

The Mara family has been involved with the Giants and the NFL since Timothy J. Mara, Wellington's father, purchased the team in 1925.

Robert Tisch bought half the team in 1991 from the Wellington Mara's nephew, Tim Mara.

Tisch was diagnosed with a brain tumor last year.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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