Image Credit: ireImageSpartacus: Blood and Sand star Andy Whitfield will not be returning to the second season of the Starz series, the network announced today via press release. The actor, who was in remission after being diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin lymphoma in March, has been advised to resume “aggressive treatment” for the disease. “It’s with a deep sense of disappointment that I must step aside from such an exceptional project as Spartacus and all the wonderful people involved,” Whitfield said in the release. “It seems that it is time for myself and my family to embark on another extraordinary journey. Thank you for the support so far.”

The series had delayed production in the spring while Whitfield underwent treatment; the actor had been training for the second season after he was declared cancer-free in June. At this point, the network has not made any decisions regarding the series’ future. “Right now, we just want to extend our concern and support to Andy and his family,” Starz Media’s Managing Director Carmi Zlotnik said in the statement. “We will address our programming plans at some later date.” Spartacus: Gods of the Arena, a prequel to the series, will still air as scheduled in January 2011.