The 67-year-old Hadlee had surgery last month for bowel cancer.
"This week, Richard will undergo further.surgery after secondary cancer was discovered in his liver," his wife Dianne said in a statement issued by New Zealand Cricket. "Medical advice is that it's still at a very early stage and is operable.
Hadlee, who is considered one of the finest fast bowlers of all time having retired in 1990 with 431 test wickets, had the first surgery after a routine checkup discovered a tumour.
He was the first player to take 400 test wickets and held the record for most wickets until India's Kapil Dev surpassed it in 1994.
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