Jason Richards has successfully undergone surgery to remove a cancerous tumour from his abdomen and is preparing for chemotherapy before the end of the year as he eyes an eventual return to racing in the V8 Supercar series.
Richards was diagnosed with the tumour – which has been described as very rare – last month, forcing him out of the final two races of the 2010 campaign in Sandown and Sydney, where the 34-year-old's seat was taken by his endurance co-driver Andrew Jones.
Team BOC has since released a statement revealing that the New Zealander is recovering well, with V8 Supercars doctor Carl Le adding that Richards is in good spirits and already fully focussed on rejoining the grid as soon as possible.
'The tumour, which was removed from his abdomen last week, has been confirmed as an adrenal gland carcinoma,' read the team's statement. 'Once Jason has fully recovered from his surgery, the next step will be chemotherapy. The family would again like to thank everyone for their messages of support, and for respecting their need for privacy at this time.'
In a message on his Facebook
fan page, Richards explained that there were in fact two operations, the first of which took seven hours – and he quipped that he is eager to return to wearing normal clothes after his daughter poked fun at him for wearing 'a dress'.
“I have a team of champions working on this and they have achieved some pretty cool stuff,” he wrote. “I'm speeding through the surgery recovery, reaching milestones every day. It's weird not having much contact with the outside world, and I don't rate being connected to so many machines!
“Thanks again everyone for the wealth of support. I'm looking forward to getting out of hospital and heading home, especially as (his daughter) Sienna thinks I look funny in a dress (hospital gown)!”