May 27, 2020

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Nicole Gibbs played a couple of ITF tournaments in the U.S. the last couple of weeks.

But she’ll have to take a break, as the 26-year-old American has been diagnosed with a treatable form of cancer.

It’s a rare one called mucoepidermoid carcinoma (salivary gland cancer), Gibbs wrote on Twitter Monday.

And it was discovered during a routine trip to the dentist.

Gibbs is slated for surgery on Friday. And she reports her surgeon says the removal of the growth should do the trick. 

Her doctor even okayed her playing those tournaments. She reached the quarterfinal in the first one in Charleston, and lost in the first round of the second one in Bonita Springs, Fla. last week.

(What she calls “a nice distraction”, we’d call “tough pro athlete focus).

https://twitter.com/Gibbsyyyy/status/1127971550047563776

Gibbs said the recovery period is 4-6 weeks. But she hopes to be back in time for Wimbledon qualifying,  which is a little over five weeks post-surgery.