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LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- In what Red Sox manager Terry Francona called "the most important thing that could happen at the Winter Meetings," all indications are that left-hander Jon Lester is nearly cancer-free.Lester will soon undergo his sixth -- and final chemotherapy treatment -- for anaplastic large cell lymphoma.And then?"He's done," Francona said. "So from where I sit, the meetings are already a success. Pretty amazing news."After undergoing his first chemotherapy treatment in Boston in September, Lester went to his home in Tacoma, Wash., to get the rest of his treatments. Needless to say, his parents -- who have been with him during this entire trying time -- were ecstatic with the good news regarding their son."I said to him the other night, 'What are your folks doing?' He said, 'They haven't stopped grinning since they heard the news.' They're obviously thrilled," said Francona.The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that Lester's cancer was in remission. Francona and the Red Sox didn't feel it was appropriate to be that specific. Instead, they'll let Lester -- who is expected to speak with the Boston media in the near future -- provide whatever information he feels is right.Ever since Lester got his stunning diagnosis more than three months ago, Francona has been in frequent contact with the pitcher who turns 23 next month."He's been good since the day he found out," Francona said. "Again, I haven't talked to him every day but he checks in like he promised he would, and he's been energetic and positive. He's a fabulous kid."Though everything is looking good for Lester at this point, Francona didn't think it was time to start projecting when he might pitch again, or whether he'll report to Spring Training on time."I don't know and out of respect to what he's been through, I don't even want to bring it up right now," said Francona. "I'm sure there's going to be a point where we start discussing what's in his best interest baseball-wise in the future, and that's exciting because of what this kid's gone through. The fact that we're even talking about that is really exciting. But they'll be a time and place for that."One of baseball's promising young pitchers, Lester went 7-2 with a 4.76 ERA for the Red Sox in his rookie season of 2006.
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