updated 6/14/2007 4:11:05 PM ET 2007-06-14T20:11:05

An Atlanta attorney will have surgery next month to remove lung tissue infected with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, hospital officials said Thursday.

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Andrew Speaker will have surgery at the University of Colorado Hospital in suburban Aurora, but the exact date has not been set.

Speaker is “an excellent candidate for surgery,” said Dr. Charles Daley, head of infectious diseases at National Jewish Medical and Research Center, where Speaker is being treated.

“The infected area of his lung is relatively small and well contained. He is also young and otherwise healthy,” Daley said.

The infected area is about the size of a tennis ball, hospital officials said.

The operation, combined with antibiotics Speaker is taking, should improve his chances of recovery, the hospital said in a written statement.

Speaker sparked an international scare when health officials tried to find and isolate him because his strain of TB is considered exceptionally dangerous.

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