Akerfelds happy to be back with San Diego Padres

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) -- Darrel Akerfelds is looking forward to the mundane routines of spring training and the season after a difficult winter.

San Diego's 49-year-old bullpen coach was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in December 2010. He underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment throughout the 2011 season in an attempt to shrink a tumor attached to the vein in his pancreas so it could be removed in an October surgery.

Doctors discovered during the surgery that Akerfelds' tumor hadn't grown, but it also hadn't shrunk enough to be removed. Instead, doctors performed a stomach bypass, which Akerfelds said has resulted in a loss of sleep and decreased appetite.

Akerfelds says Sunday preparing for the season is "the best therapy" he knows.