Michael Ausiello
March 09, 2010 AT 07:23 PM EST

Image Credit: Marion Curtis/Startraksphoto.comSad news: Andy Whitfield, who’s currently starring in the Starz drama Spartacus: Blood and Sand, has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and will begin treatment immediately in New Zealand. As a result, production on the second season of Spartacus — which was scheduled to get underway later this month — has been delayed.

Whitfield’s cancer was detected early and his prognosis is good. “I’m receiving excellent care, and am feeling strong, positive and determined with an army of support behind me,” said Whitfield in a statement.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Andy,” said Starz president Chris Albrecht. “His health, of course, is our primary concern. He has our complete support during this difficult time.”

Spartacus’ first season concludes April 16.

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