05/11/1999 AT 12:00 AM EDT
Joe DiMaggio went home Monday after 99 days in the hospital, completing a stunning comeback from lung cancer surgery and pneumonia. The Clipper's fans are hoping he'll be able to return to Yankee Stadium in time to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on opening day, April 9. The 84-year-old Yankee great spent his entire hospital stay in the intensive care unit. Each time doctors said he probably wouldn't survive, DiMaggio proved them wrong. "Mr. DiMaggio wishes to express his thanks to the doctors, ICU nurses and staff at Memorial Regional Hospital, for helping him recover from infectious pneumonia, as well as to the 250 million people out there who are praying for him," his lawyer, Morris Engelberg, said in a statement."Joe will certainly toss out the first ball," Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said Monday. "It's a wonderful moment for me personally and for the fans."