MADRID (AP) — Seve Ballesteros says he feels fine but “suffered like a dog” while recovering from four surgeries to remove a cancerous brain tumor.
“I feel perfect,” Ballesteros said in an interview with the Cadena SER radio. “I can do any kind of sport. I can row, I can run, I can swim, I can cycle. I am even playing a bit of golf, some short shots.”
Ballesteros, a five-time major winner, said he was optimistic during his 72 days in a hospital late last year. But he worried during the post-operation period that he might be permanently disabled.
“I suffered like a dog, but maybe the fact that I am a professional sportsman and used to competing and fighting helped me,” he said.
The interview came two days after the 52-year-old made his first public appearance Sunday at a Spanish soccer league match at Racing Santander’s El Sardinero stadium near his home in northern Spain. He received a standing ovation from the fans.
Ballesteros underwent four operations on a malignant brain tumor between Oct. 6 and late December, when he was released from Madrid’s La Paz hospital. He is undergoing chemotherapy treatment.
Sounding confident and in good spirits, Ballesteros said his brain and memory were fine and even joked that “for a brainless guy like me, you can see I’m explaining myself pretty well.”
The golfer said he appreciates the smaller things in life, and he’s convinced that good health is the most important.
For other people in similar situations, he said his message was to realize that “there is only one way forward, to keep on fighting.”
Ballesteros won three British Opens and two Masters, and had 50 victories on the European Tour. He captained Europe’s Ryder Cup team to victory against the United States in 1997.