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CHRIS WILCOX, OFF INDEFINITELY FOR HEART AFFECTION
Wed, 14 Mar 2012 05:20 PM EDT

Boston Celtics coach Doc Rivers announced that the cardiac infirmity that center Chris Wilcox is suffering from could be related to the aorta, similar to what Celtics forward Jeff Green dealt with earlier this season, and said Wilcox will go through more tests to measure the severity of the condition.

A preseason physical detected an aortic aneurysm for Green, who underwent surgery in January at the Cleveland Clinic to fix the issue and will miss the entire season. Rivers was uncertain what the very next step could be for Wilcox, but accepted he would be bound for the same facility with probably the same end result.

“There’s not very much I am able to say. They have a bunch of tests to run and it’s what it is,” Rivers said. “Clearly teamwise, it’s a hell of a blow for us.

“It’s not a wonderful place. It’s frightful, it actually is. You think about it, the prospects of having one of these in a year, it’s pretty minute. The likelihood of having 2 is like not possible. There’s a likelihood that might happen. We just must wait and see.

“But I mostly try to have a look at the human part of it. The fact is that if something is not right and we found it, I would prefer to find it than not. At the end of the day, we’re fortunate, and that is what I told our team, that we’re very lucky this occurred — not unfortunate. I believe that’s how you have to have a look at it, and that’s the way we are having a look at it.”

Rivers recounted Wilcox was mindful of a potential predisposition to a heart issue and had undergone monthly screenings in fresh seasons to observe for red flags. At one of those routine screenings this week, the tests came back with the troubling news.

While Rivers stressed the significance of Wilcox’s well-being over all the other issues, the loss impacts seriously on the team on the floor moving forward. Boston is playing without Jermaine O’Neal, whose own future remains not clear as a result of a wrist injury and the team must determine the right way to add size with trade cut-off point approaching. NFL odds

For now, more responsibility will fall on rookie center Greg Stiemsma.

Rivers said the team was hoping to add a big man given O’Neal’s uncertain future, but Wilcox’s condition will force the issue far more. The difficulty is adding a body when the team’s roster is at the 15-man limit.

“You do not really wish to do anything silly,” Rivers recounted. “You really don’t. We’re building for this year and the future. And so we’re not going to do anything that is going to hurt any one of those. Clearly, we’re looking to grab a big from somewhere, hopefully not by giving away a player, but hopefully by going another route.

Rivers claimed the D-League was one potential avenue if the team can clear a roster spot, but admitted there’s not a great deal of big talent available on the market. NFL scores

“To be expected there’s not a great deal of bigs floating around the D-League, but we are going to look everywhere,” Rivers said. “Wherever we can.”


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