Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis has been through a lot over the course of the 2017 season. From believing he had defeated cancer during the offseason, to having the disease resurface just weeks before the season opened up, this year has been a massive curveball for the 28-year-old.

Nobody deserves to be a part of this magical Rockies season more than Bettis.

Bettis took the mound for the first time this season at the Major League level Monday as the Rockies opened up a four-game series against the Atlanta Braves.

Monday’s start marked the end of a long, hard-fought battle against cancer. A battle that Bettis ultimately won.

Now, with baseball back as his primary focus, Bettis will look to take charge of the youngest pitching staff in baseball and help lead the way as the Rockies try to make the postseason for the first time since 2009.

The Rockies clubhouse was brimming with excitement and positive vibes ahead of Monday’s ballgame. All of the Rockies players were visibly excited to get Bettis back and realized the impact he can have on the team as the season begins moves into the home stretch.

“It means a lot, not just for the game. It’s for the entire family,” outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said ahead of Monday’s game. “The entire group is really excited to have him around. He’s a special player. After fighting against cancer, and now having the opportunity to get back on the mound it’s a blessing. We all feel blessed for having him, and I’m sure the fans will feel the same way when he’s on the mound.”

Bettis joined a Rockies club that is in the thick of a postseason push. With a record 65-52, when he took the mound on Monday, Colorado is currently neck and neck with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Wild Card race in the National League.

With a little over a month in the season remaining, Bettis’ return could not have come at a better time for the Rockies.

Over the course of this season, Colorado’s starting rotation has shown cracks. With four rookies, sophomore Jon Gray, and utility arms Tyler Chatwood and Tyler Anderson, a veteran presence was lacking to solidify the club’s rotation in terms of balance.

The addition of Bettis helps structure the Rockies starting five moving forward.

“He’s here just in time to catch all of the exciting games,” All-Star outfielder Charlie Blackmon said. “These last few months are going to be real exciting, so it’s a good time for him to be back.”

Throughout his journey this year, Bettis has been a source of inspiration for the Rockies organization. All season long, Rockies players have donned t-shirts to represent their support of Bettis and the fight against cancer.

Now, with Bettis set to return, the Rockies could channel their inspiration onto the field and use it to build momentum as the schedule beings to narrow.

“It’s unbelievable,” All-Star third basemen Nolan Arenado said. “To see what he’s gone through this whole year and to see him back now, it’s an amazing thing what he’s been able to do. Very happy for him, very excited. We all love Bettis. Happy to have him back.”

It’s been quite the journey for Chad Bettis this season, but Monday marks the end of a long, hard-fought journey to return to the baseball diamond.

The Rockies missed Bettis and Bettis missed the Rockies. Now, it’s just good to have him back.