SAN FRANCISCO -- The Celtics received bad news regarding forward Chris Wilcox, who will have aortic surgery at the Cleveland Clinic on March 29 and will miss the rest of the season. The surgery is expected to repair Wilcox's condition and he should be able to resume playing next season, the team said in a release.
From the release:
"Wilcox has long had an aortic abnormality that remained stable throughout his 10-year NBA career. However, as a precautionary measure, the Celtics medical staff scheduled frequent aortic scans for Wilcox, and a recent scan showed a significant enlargement of his aorta. After several follow-up tests, doctors recommended surgery."
“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,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said in the statement. “The entire Celtics family supports Chris during this difficult time in his career.”
Wilcox is the second player the Celtics have lost to a heart ailment. Earlier, they voided the contract of Jeff Green after tests revealed a heart aneurysm. Green had surgery in January and is also out for the season, but expected to be able to play in 2012-13.
His loss leaves the Celtics extremely thin up front. He was the first big man off the bench behind Kevin Garnett and Brandon Bass and the team has turned to rookie Greg Stiemsma to fill the void. Without Wilcox and center Jermaine O'Neal who has been considering wrist surgery, the Celtics need another big man. "We need another big body for sure," team president Danny Ainge said on Monday before the Clippers game. The trade deadline is at 3 p.m. on Thursday.
For more Celtics news, visit the team page at weei.com/celtics.
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