Michael Ausiello
September 26, 2010 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Image Credit: Michael Caulfield/WireImage.comAlthough Starz execs have yet to decide how Andy Whitfield’s cancer relapse will impact the future of Spartacus: Blood and Sand, exec producer Steven S. DeKnight reveals that one of two things will likely happen: a new actor will be brought in to replace Whitfield or the series will end.

“The two main options are to close up shop or recast,” says DeKnight. “I want to talk to Andy and find out how he feels about the options. That’s obviously very important to us.

“We’re still absorbing what’s happened,” adds DeKnight. “I think it’s going to be a little while before we reach any conclusions.” (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, a prequel to the series, will still air as scheduled in January 2011.)

DeKnight says his primary concern remains Whitfield, who bowed out of the show’s second season after doctors advised him to resume “aggressive treatment” for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. “He’s a trooper,” marvels DeKnight. “He has a very positive outlook.”

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