Former Qwest Communications International Chief Executive Joseph Nacchio asked a Denver judge to rule by Wednesday on a petition to delay the start of his six-year prison term for insider trading.

His doctor said Nacchio might need two to three weeks of treatment -- including surgery -- if a mass on his leg was found to be malignant. The biopsy results are due no later than Friday, Nacchio's attorney said in a filing on Tuesday.

Another of the former CEO's attorneys, Maureen Mahoney, argued in a separate filing that Nacchio should be allowed to remain free while he petitions the U.S. Supreme Court to hear his appeal on the 2007 conviction.

Nacchio has asked to postpone his surrender until April 7, filings unsealed on Tuesday showed. Krieger has set a hearing for Thursday on the motion for postponement of his surrender.

(Reporting by Robert Boczkiewicz in Denver and Gina Keating in Los Angeles; editing by Richard Chang, Bernard Orr)