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Ron Darling to Take Leave of Absence From SNY to Undergo Surgery

Darling will undergo surgery next week to remove a mass in his chest.

Mets broadcaster Ron Darling will take a leave of absence from SNY broadcasts to undergo surgery, he announced on Saturday night.

Darling revealed during Saturday's SNY broadcast of the Mets-Braves matchup that he will have surgery next week to remove a mass in his chest.

"A series of tests revealed a large mass in my chest which will require surgery next week to remove," he said. "Doctors have told me if there are no complications I should be back on air talking baseball sometime next month."

Todd Zeile will fill in for Darling on SNY broadcasts.

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Darling has worked for SNY since 2006. He pitched for the Mets for eight-plus seasons during his major league career and won the 1986 World Series with New York.

USA Today reports that Darling's absence is solely due to health reasons and is not related to the recent lawsuit filed against him by former teammate Lenny Dykstra.

In Darling's new book, 108 Stitches: Loose Threads, Ripping Yarns, and the Darnest Characters from My Time in the Game, he claimed Dykstra shouted racial slurs at Red Sox pitcher Dennis "Oil Can" Boyd during the 1986 World Series. Dykstra sued Darling for libel and defamation over the claims made in the book.