Adelaide Lightning coach Chris Lucas has returned to the club after undergoing cancer treatment.
Adelaide Lightning coach Chris Lucas has returned to the club after undergoing cancer treatment. Tricia Watkinson

Adelaide Lightning coach cleared of cancer

ADELAIDE Lightning coach Chris Lucas will be back the helm when the side tackles Bendigo on Saturday after he was cleared of cancer on Thursday night.

Lucas, 57, was diagnosed with kidney cancer in early September before being given the all-clear by surgeons to return to the head coaching role in full capacity.

"The surgeon rang me and said that you've had some good news and I've been fortunate enough to fall into 5% of kidney cancers and it was completely benign. I consider myself very, very fortunate," Lucas said in a statement.

Lucas, a two-time WNBL championship-winning coach, received the shock of his life when a MRI scan for sciatic pain revealed a large tumour on his kidney.

"I didn't believe it at first. I was yelling at the doctor because I didn't understand because I felt fine," Lucas said.

"I had a bit of sciatic pain in my left-hand side, but apart from that I felt pretty good in myself.

"It was a big shock for myself and my family, but the support I had around me from family, the club and the basketball fraternity was unbelievable and a bit overwhelming to be honest."

Lucas underwent surgery eight days later, with the surgeon removing his kidney along with a 2.5kg tumour.

Lucas is now focusing on taking the five-time WNBL champion Lightning to their former glory.

"We're pretty excited about the season and hoping we can get Adelaide back off the bottom and start moving in a positive direction," he said.

"It is a special group. I've got a philosophy that when I recruit, I recruit people first and then players second. The group is just a really good group. They get on particularly well and to have success you need to have that."

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