With less than 48 hours before tipoff of the McPherson High School girls basketball season, the Lady Pups will be without their head coach Chris Strathman after announcing that he will have surgery on Thursday after discovering a cancerous tumor in his colon.

"Been feeling weak and off for quite some time, had scopes done last Wednesday, and they did find a cancerous tumor in my colon. Surgery Thursday morning. Appreciate all the prayers we can get, but prognosis is good. Leaning on the Lord for strength and wisdom," Strathman said via Twitter.

"I will be off work from teaching and coaching for the rest of the semester," he continues. "Blessed by a tremendous coaching staff as they will all step up and do a great job. Love our team and can’t wait to get back out on the floor with them."

While Strathman is gone for the next month, his assistant and junior varsity coach Mike Reith will serve as interim head coach for the Lady Pups. Shelly Prescott will take over as the junior varsity head coach, and Tim Ellet will run the freshman team.

McPherson's first game is on the road as they take on Andover High School this Friday at 6 p.m.

Contact Peter Holland Jr. by email at pholland@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow him on Twitter @Petes_Picks_orour sports page @MacCountySports