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06/08/06 8:45 PM ET

Nuxhall returns to ballpark

Reds broadcaster much improved after pneumonia treatment

CINCINNATI -- When the Reds returned from their 10-day road trip to play the Cubs on Thursday, an important member of the club's family was there to see them.

"The Ol' Left-hander" was back at the ballpark again.

Longtime radio broadcaster Joe Nuxhall spent a week at Mercy Fairfield Hospital and was treated for double pneumonia in the intensive care unit. Released on Monday while the team was out of town, the 77-year-old wasn't ready to work a game behind the microphone just yet, but he resumed his pregame segment on WLW Radio.

"I'm making progress," Nuxhall said while seated on a chair next to the Reds dugout. "I'm not 100 percent, but I'm a lot better than I was 10 days ago."

Last week, Nuxhall was on his way to have breakfast with his son when he experienced a shortness of breath and heavy coughing. Although he had resisted seeing his family doctor days earlier, he finally relented.

It proved to be the right move -- the doctor immediately had Nuxhall admitted to the hospital.

"The first three days, it was tough," Nuxhall said, who is taking daily oxygen treatments to improve his breathing. "Now, it's beginning to ease up, and I'm getting on the plus side of it."

A former Reds pitcher, Nuxhall has a 62-year association with the club as a player and broadcaster. He retired from calling games after the 2004 season, but he was brought back to work about 30 broadcasts this year.

Nuxhall recently began a series of radiation treatments for cancerous lymphoma on his tonsils. The start of the procedures was delayed once the pneumonia was discovered.

Nuxhall's son, Kim Nuxhall, said that his father has already had five treatments and has 20 radiation sessions to go.

"I can't believe the improvement he's made over the last few days," Kim Nuxhall said.

There has been an outpouring of support for Nuxhall since his illness was revealed. Several fans who noticed him on Thursday peppered him with "Welcome back, Nuxie" greetings.

"When you get that kind of attention, it's very special," Nuxhall said. "I just thank everybody for all of their prayers, cards and nice things. It's certainly rewarding, not only to me, but my family."

Nuxhall hoped to return to working games after the All-Star break.

"I really miss it," he said. "After 60-some years, you don't just throw it over your back and say, 'Well, I'll see you later.' It's nice to see the ballclub playing great."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.