Ailing “Spartacus: Blood and Sand” actor Andy Whitfield has been replaced on the second season of the Starz series while he battles a recurrence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. In his stead will be chiseled actor Liam McIntyre, who appeared on the HBO series “The Pacific” but is best known for his TV work in his native Australia. According to a release from the network, Whitfield approved of the move. “Since no one can really replace Andy, we realized that we should instead find an actor who can truly lead Spartacus forward,” Starz president and CEO Chris Albrecht said in a statement. “It was important to us to have Andy endorse the idea of recasting this part, which he did in the same heroic manner that he’s dealt with his whole ordeal. And that, coupled with our fortune in finding a young actor with the gladiator credentials and the acting ability of Liam, makes it easier for us to keep this hit franchise going.” The series’ second season is scheduled to restart production this spring in New Zealand. In the meantime, “Spartacus: Gods of the Arena,” a prequel, debuts on Starz this Friday, January 21. Add the series to your Watchlist here and catch up on the entire first season of full episodes here.