Saturday , Jun , 25 , 2005 C.Y. Ellis

Minnesota’s Hoiberg to have heart surgery

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Minnesota Timberwolves guard Fred Hoiberg
is expected to undergo heart surgery next week.

Hoiberg told the Minneapolis Star Tribune he will be admitted to the Mayo
Clinic on Tuesday for surgery to correct an enlarged aortic root.

According to the article, Hoiberg has been told by doctors he should be able
to play basketball again, but the guard is unsure if that is the best option.
The 32-year-old has a wife and four children that are obviously at the top of
his list.

“My world has been turned upside down,” Hoiberg said to the paper. “That’s
when priorities get set.”

“But if there is any doubt at all, even a 1 percent chance that anything could
happen, I’ll walk away [from basketball],” Hoiberg went on to say in the
article. “I’ll go on with my life. If there is any risk at all, I’ll move on.”

Hoiberg apparently found out about the problem during the season. He was
seeking to get more life insurance but was rejected because of the enlarged
aortic root. Team medical director Dr. Sheldon Burns suggested that Hoiberg
have tests at the Mayo Clinic.

“They start getting worried about the aortic root when it gets to about 42
millimeters for a guy my size,” Hoiberg said to the paper. “It was 47 in
January. When they measured it after the season it was 56. That rapid
progression, it was something to worry about.”

According to Hoiberg, had he taken a significant blow during the season his
aortic root could have ruptured.

Hoiberg averaged 5.8 points, 2.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 76 games last
season for the Timberwolves. In 10 seasons, he has averaged 5.4 points, 1.6
assists and 2.7 rebounds with Minnesota, Chicago and Indiana.