The Spurs have cleared LaMarcus Aldridge to resume all basketball-related activities after the power forward experienced an irregular heartbeat last week, forcing him to miss his next two games. Aldridge, who has a history of minor heart issues
, underwent a series of tests and consultations over the weekend to ensure he could safely return to action. He’s available to suit up as early as tonight against his former team, the Portland Trail Blazers.
Per the team’s press release:
"We are thankful that LaMarcus will be able to rejoin the team," said Spurs General Manager RC Buford. "All of us have been impressed with the professionalism and grace he has shown in dealing with this difficult situation."
This is big news for the Spurs and their hopes of contending for a title this year, but it’s even better news for Aldridge, a sentiment that head coach Gregg Popovich echoed at Wednesday morning’s shoot-around
“We are obviously thrilled about that,” Popovich said, according to the Express-News
, “but more importantly thrilled that the doctors feel that he is fine in the sense that we are not putting him in danger or anything like that. That is the most important part.”
Popovich also praised Aldridge for his character and professionalism through adversity.
“He has dealt with this all year long, which nobody really knew about. Being a consummate pro, he was able to do everything that was necessary to bring this to some sort of a conclusion. And that wasn’t easy. Throughout the year, he has gone through some procedures and had to do some things that are not pleasant and he has shown a lot of class and a lot of fortitude in the way he has done it all.”
The Spurs are still not back to full strength – Tony Parker is still questionable with lower back stiffness and Dejounte Murray will miss another game due to a groin injury – but the healthy returns of Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard (concussion) earlier this week are huge boons to a team eyeing the number-one seed in the West and a deep run in the postseason.
San Antonio tips off against Portland tonight at 7pm at the AT&T Center.