CHAPEL HILL, N.C., Feb. 6 (UPI) -- Longtime ESPN college basketball analyst Dick Vitale was set to return for Wednesday's ACC showdown between second-ranked Duke and No. 3 North Carolina.
He hasn't missed a Duke-North Carolina contest in 29 years.
But Wednesday's game will mark the first contest the vociferous he has called this season. On Dec. 18, Vitale was sidelined by throat surgery for ulcerated lesions on his left vocal cord. The lesions weren't cancerous.
"I am so excited," he told the Herald-Tribune newspaper in Sarasota, Fla.: "It should be special. There were times I wondered if I would ever get back. It should be a very emotional moment."
The Lakewood Ranch, Fla., resident, who is known for signature phrases like "PTPer" (prime time player) and "Diaper Dandy" (freshman) suffered a setback Jan. 11 because of a bladder infection during a trip to Boston that delayed his return to the microphone for a few weeks.