The Boston Celtics have lost two players in as many months to season-ending heart surgery.
Chris Wilcox will have an operation March 29 at the Cleveland Clinic to fix a long-standing aortic abnormality, the National Basketball Association team said in an e-mailed statement last night.
Boston forward Jeff Green is recovering from surgery in January to repair an aortic aneurysm, or weakness in the artery wall, that ended his season. The aorta carries blood from the heart’s ventricle to all the main arteries.
“While we are saddened that Chris will not be able to play again this season, the most important thing is his health and we were fortunate to have access to an amazing team of specialists to evaluate Chris’s case,” Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said in the team’s statement.
Wilcox’s condition had remained stable throughout his 10- year NBA career until a scan revealed a “significant enlargement of his aorta,” the team said. His doctors indicated that surgery should repair the condition and allow him to return next season.
Wilcox, 29, signed with the Celtics as a free agent on Dec. 9 after two seasons with the Detroit Pistons. He was drafted by the Clippers with the eighth overall pick in the 2002 draft and spent almost four years in Los Angeles before moving to the Seattle SuperSonics for two years.
In 567 NBA games, Wilcox has averaged 8.6 points and 5.1 rebounds.
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