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Former Red Sox ace Jon Lester to have thyroid gland removed

Jon Lester pitched for the Cubs from 2015-20 before signing with the Nationals in the offseason.
Jon Lester pitched for the Cubs from 2015-20 before signing with the Nationals in the offseason.Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Washington Nationals lefthander Jon Lester will have surgery to have a thyroid gland removed, manager Dave Martinez said Wednesday.

Lester will leave spring training in West Palm Beach, Fla., and fly to New York for the procedure.

Martinez said the 37-year-old pitcher is expected to be back at camp in 5-7 days.

In 2006, Lester’s rookie season with the Red Sox ended early because he was diagnosed with a form of lymphoma. He had chemotherapy and returned the next season, pitching the World Series clincher against Colorado. In 2008, he became the first Red Sox lefthander to throw a no-hitter since Mel Parnell in 1956.

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He went 110-63 with the Red Sox before he was dealt to Oakland at the 2014 trade deadline.

He is entering his 16th year in the majors. Lester was a free agent and joined the Nationals on a $5 million, one-year contract after playing the past six seasons with the Chicago Cubs.