Go ahead, call it a comeback 

July, 29, 2010
07/29/10
6:50
PM ET

When he takes the field for Boston College this fall, linebacker Mark Herzlich will undoubtedly need a few weeks to shake off the rust. But he has an unexpected ally in his attempt to come back from cancer: precedent. A look at the historical record reveals that a cancer survivor like Herzlich or a severely injured star like Angels first baseman Kendry Morales, who fractured his left leg in May, has a better shot of returning in full force than someone coming back from retirement or a long suspension.

Peter Keating is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where he covers investigative and statistical subjects. He started writing "The Biz," a column looking at sports business from the fan's point of view, in 1999. He also coordinates the Magazine's annual "Ultimate Standings" project, which ranks all pro franchises according to how much they give back to fans. His work on concussions in football has earned awards from the Deadline Club, the New York Press Club and the Center for the Study of Sport in Society.
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