Andry Whitfield, star of Starz
: Blood and Sand," has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma and will begin treatment in New Zealand.
In a statement, Starz says that Whitfield's cancer was discovered in a pre-production physical before shooting on the show's second season. The premium cable network says that the condition was discovered in its early stages and is "very treatable."
"I'm receiving excellent care, and am feeling strong, positive and determined with an army of support behind me," Whitfield states.
On a purely practical level, Whitfield's illness will delay production on the second season of "Spartacus," tentatively titled "Spartacus: Vengeance
," which was set to start soon in New Zealand.
"Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy," states Chris Albrecht, President and CEO of Starz, keeping things in perspective. "His health, of course, is our primary concern. He has our complete support during this difficult time."