Hokie Gajan will miss at least Sunday’s Saints game as he begins chemotherapy; Deuce McAllister will replace him _lowres

Advocate staff file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Saints radio announcers Jim Henderson, left, and Hokie Gajan

New Orleans Saints radio analyst Hokie Gajan will miss at least Sunday’s game at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as he begins chemotherapy and will be replaced in the broadcast booth by fellow former running back Deuce McAllister.

Gajan revealed last month that he has cancer, although the exact type has not been specified.

“I feel fine,” he said Monday. “But I’ve got to start this treatment.”

Gajan said his first round of chemo will begin Wednesday at Ochsner-Jefferson, and he will hospitalized through Sunday. A second round would begin two weeks later.

Any decision about his return to work would be made after the first round of chemo, but Gajan said he has been told his spot is being held for him.

“I hate missing any games with the great season we’ve having,” Gajan joked. “But I don’t think I’ll be missing us going to the Super Bowl.”

Gajan, 56, has been the Saints’ radio analyst since 2000 after spending 18 years with the team as a scout and before that a player from 1981-87 following his college career at LSU.

The only time Gajan has missed a broadcast was because of the death of his father-in-law several years ago.

Gajan said he has been deeply moved by the outpouring of support from fans, along with that of his colleagues.

“It’s very humbling — there’s no doubt,” he said. “So many people have said if there is anything they can do, just let them know. I may have to reach out to some of those people. It’ll put a lump in your throat.”

Gajan added that he had full confidence of the job McAllister will do.

“All Deuce has to do is be himself,” he said. “He’ll be great. And I know that as long as Jim Henderson and Robert Carroll are up there in that booth and Kristian (Garic) is down there on the sideline, everything’s going to be fine.”