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Etan update II


Etan Thomas underwent successful surgery yesterday morning at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Mn., and is still recovering, according to Dr. Hartzell Schaff, the surgeon who performed the four-hour procedure.

According to Schaff, Thomas had a congenital condition that led to a leakage in the aortic valve and required a replacement. An artificial valve - Dr. Schaff called it a "tissue valve" was inserted. Thomas will likely be released from the hospital by Friday or Saturday of next week.

"Everything went smoothly with the operation," Schaff said.

Schaff added that it would take at least two months for Thomas' sternum to heal fully - the procedure required that his breast plate be broken open - but that the function of his heart and lungs should return to normal and he should be able to get back to playing basketball at some point in the future. The doctor did not rule Thomas out for this season, saying such a decision would depend on "how his rehab goes."

Later, when again asked whether he'd rule out the possibility that Thomas could return this season, Schaff said: "I wouldn't say that we're ruling it out or ruling it in." However, multiple sources have indicated that the team expects Thomas to miss the season.

Wizards president Ernie Grunfeld talked about Etan's situation for the first time in a brief press conference held a short while ago at Verizon Center. He expressed his relief that Thomas is expected to recover and said that it's far too early to think about his basketball status.

"Obviously, our concern if for his health," Grunfeld said. "This is not about basketball right now. It's about him getting healthy and coming back whenever he is ready to. I don't think you put a time frame on it. It's going to take time and we'll monitor the situation. But again, our number concern is to make sure that he's well being is fine."

"We're going to be very cautious and very careful. Etan is in great hands with Dr. Schaff and the doctors at the Mayo Clinic which is world-renowed and he's going to get all the care he needs. Nothing is going to happen unless he is 100 percent."

Thomas counts as one of the 16 players on the current roster and will continue to do so. If, at some point, Thomas is officially declared to be out for the season, there is a possibility that the Wizards could use an exception to add a player but his salary would still count against this season's salary cap and luxury tax threshold.

Judging by the information I've been able to gather, it would be highly unlikely that the Wizards would add another player using that exception. As one person put it: "Who are we going to go get? There's nobody out there."


By Ivan Carter  |  October 12, 2007; 2:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

"...the procedure required that his breast plate be broken open..."

Ouch! Details like this brings the entire operation into focus. You hear "open heart surgery" you know it's dangerous but you don't really know what's involved. But when you hear his breast plate had to be broken open, damn! I wish him all the best.

Posted by: Bart | October 12, 2007 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I recall reading that using an artificial valve instead of repairing his valve might reduce the likelihood that Etan will be able to play again. (I could have that completely wrong, however.) Is that the case?

Posted by: Sean | October 12, 2007 2:58 PM | Report abuse

It's truely remarkable to think that anyone can be opened up, operated on, mended with a artificial valve, and still entertain the idea of playing professional sports at some point in their life, nevermind this season. I really have found myself surprisingly interested and concerned with etan's situation. I'm glad things have gone well to this point. Also, I don't think enough credit can go to the NBA for changing their preseason examination process to include so many additional cardio related tests. It seems like those extra test may have saved/prolonged etan's life. In my mind this give stern a pass on one of his previous horrible decisions, so I guess the female refs can stay in the league now (jk).

Posted by: In the A | October 12, 2007 3:09 PM | Report abuse

ouch !

Posted by: mark | October 12, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm glad the surgery went well, according to the surgeons. I just hope for a good recovery for Etan -- so that he'll have the option to decide whether he should return to play.

Posted by: iceberg | October 12, 2007 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Once again, I wish Etan a full and speedy recovery. My thoughts and prayers go to you and your family at this time. Get well soon Etan. Wash.DC hometown

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 4:02 PM | Report abuse


Good news for a spendid individual. Yahoo!

Posted by: Anonymous | October 12, 2007 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Sean, I believe the options compared were a mechanical replacement valve and an organic (from pig or cow?) valve. The mechanical last longer, but require blood thinners, reducing the chances of ET returning. The organic wear out faster, but don't require blood thinners and increase the chance of him returning.

Posted by: ChelseaFC | October 12, 2007 4:52 PM | Report abuse

+1 on these tests saving Etan's life. Very grateful.

Posted by: Zonker | October 12, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update, Ivan. It's great to hear that Etan's not only going to be okay, but that he'll be able to play ball again.

Posted by: John Brisker | October 12, 2007 5:54 PM | Report abuse

I feel for ET and hope he recovers, but do we need to post this on a new blog every time there's an update? Let's just have one place for shoutouts, so we can keep the basketball discussions separate.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 12, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

Good idea.

Posted by: Skeef | October 12, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

I just read that a "tissue valve" lasts "up to 10-15 years depending on the age and activity level of the patient."

Will Mr. Thomas have to undergo replacement surgery again?

Amazing that they can split you open, open up your heart, replace a part, sew you back up and then you can be running on a basketball court within a year.

Simply amazing.

Posted by: SteveMG | October 12, 2007 7:28 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations Etan! We love you.

Posted by: Robin Ficker of Robin Realty | October 12, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

If the Wizards don't add another player, are they going to go through the season with only 14 players available, 12 active, two inactive and Thomas?

That seems risky especially if they can add a 15th player who could actually play this season.

Posted by: Paul | October 12, 2007 8:12 PM | Report abuse

If that were the case, that they get the exception, I would assume they'd wait and see who becomes available. The nerve of PJ Brown if that earlier post was accurate. He's a scrub/journeyman anyway.

Posted by: G$ | October 12, 2007 8:33 PM | Report abuse

GET WELL SOON ETAN. YOU AND YOUR FAMILY ARE IN MY PRAYERS. SINCERELY

Posted by: d square | October 12, 2007 9:17 PM | Report abuse


"The nerve of PJ Brown if that earlier post was accurate. He's a scrub/journeyman anyway."

Then why do you seem so pissed off that he spurned the Wiz's advances?

Brown is neither a scrub nor a journeyman. He's a vet with a solid career behind him who, even at his age, could help some teams.

Posted by: kalorama | October 12, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

Whatever. The "source" is being coy.

Somebody is out there, somebody is ALWAYS out there.

Charles Oakley.

Even though I wouldn't exactly want the guy since his salary demands were/are so high for his comeback. But he's still a veteran enforcer.

I don't know how much $$$ we might be working with.

Heck, sign Paul Shirley and the team gets even more PR. Can you imaging a blogger blogging about a blogger blogging?

For those who don't know Paul Shirley --
myspace.com/paulshirley

In any case...it's waaaay too early for even a "source" to say anything.

Let's see where things fall into place and know that the Wiz have a card up their sleeve (not necessarily an ace of course)

Yo Ivan (or any other poster), when does this exception thing expire?


k-dub

Posted by: k-dub | October 12, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

BTW...

GET BETTER POET.

Posted by: k-dub | October 12, 2007 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Actually, there are a few names out there to help replace Etan.
I like Lawrence Roberts who the Grizz have given up on apparently. He played in 54 games last season and averaged a very respectable 6 ppg & 4rpg in 18 minutes. He's young, hungry and hits the boards hard - Massenburg is 40 folks so let's be honest here...

Posted by: davidd | October 12, 2007 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Too bad EG didn't trade JCN for stromile swift. He could have helped.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 12, 2007 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Great news about Etan! Sounds like things went well. He is a great guy, and I hope he's feeling better soon. If he can come back this year that would be amazing! I hope he comes back, that would be the best case scenario.

If he does end up having to miss the season, and we need to pickup a backup center. A player I have thought for a while would be good for us to bring is Daniel Santiago. He'd come cheap, he's actually been out of the league last past couple years. But everytime I see him play during international games (for Puerto Rico) he plays well, including against the US. He's 7-1, and 31 yrs old. He is a smart player and he has skills well suited to our system, good hands, passing, can shoot and rebound. I mean as far as looking for a backup/3rd center, he could be worth taking a look at IMO.

Posted by: Darnell | October 13, 2007 12:35 AM | Report abuse

There's plenty of unemployed bigs out there. The question is are there any who would (A) be willing to come here for what the Wiz could pay and (B) be likely to actually have any kind of positive impact if they were in the rotation. The answer is "no." If the guys who are still available were any good, they wouldn't still be available.

PJ Brown has the luxury of being picky because he's coming of a big money contract so he has some security and more than one team is likely interested in signing him. None of the rest of the waiver wire rejects can say that. Last I looked, good big men weren't an abundant NBA commodity. At this point it's pretty clear that they're comfortable going forward with what they've got as far as the rotation players. Anyone they sign now will only be a practice body or injury insurance. And if the injuries get so bad that they're forced to play him, they're screwed anyway.

Posted by: kalorama | October 13, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE IGNORE DC MAN88. DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM OR ACKNOWLEDGE HIM. HE IS a racist, RUDE, VULGAR, AND MOST OF HIS POSTS ARE INAPPROPRIATE TO THIS BLOG.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2007 3:36 AM | Report abuse

I dunno Darnell. Daniel Santiago? First off, I'm pretty sure the dude is locked into a contract in Spain. Also, I wouldn't go too much by his play for Puerto Rico (and this isn't to diss PR - they have a good team!). Party John also has looked good for Puerto Rico (and he is 7'5") and we know where that got us....

Posted by: PK1 | October 13, 2007 3:45 AM | Report abuse

I like the idea, Darnell. The question isn't whether he would be a beast, but whether he would be better than Massenburg.

Posted by: Sean | October 13, 2007 8:10 AM | Report abuse

""Your stats obviously show what a joke you are. I'd be so friggin embarrassed if I was him," GreenYoshiJosh wrote.

"what a loser...... why waste ure time doing that..." Leprechaun007 wrote."


BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

Gilby obviously has way too much time on his hands...playing a video game and cheating in order to beat out kids who have "higher scores and should be in school."

Silly Gilby.


http://blog.washingtonpost.com/dcsportsbog/2007/10/is_gilbert_cheating_at_halo.html

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 13, 2007 8:18 AM | Report abuse

""I feel for ET and hope he recovers, but do we need to post this on a new blog every time there's an update? Let's just have one place for shoutouts, so we can keep the basketball discussions separate.
Posted by: DC Man88 | October 12, 2007 07:17 PM""

That's ironic coming from DCboy. How about instead we keep one place for DCboy to rant about his love-hate object aka "Gilby"? Then we can have a separate thread to discuss basketball, instead of seeing every thread contaminated by his personal obsession.

Posted by: zinger2 | October 13, 2007 8:56 AM | Report abuse

"That's ironic coming from DCboy. How about instead we keep one place for DCboy to rant about his love-hate object aka "Gilby"? Then we can have a separate thread to discuss basketball, instead of seeing every thread contaminated by his personal obsession.

Posted by: zinger2 | October 13, 2007 08:56 AM"


Good suggestion zing-a-ling. Why don't you email the Post and ask them to take care of your request. Let me know how it goes.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 13, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

A few observations on this situation:

It's my understanding that synthetic valves require blood-thinners. This means that Thomas cannot train, much less play. Period. It may be that I'm mistaken and that a newer replaceable synthetic valve is now more like a biological one in not requiring bllod thinners. Either way, it's my belief that Thomas will never suit up for an NBA game again. The real issue is his weight, which he's relied on for an NBA career--it's far over that any doctor would recommend now, and there's no way he can maintain muscle mass during recovery, which will take at least 6, not the 2 or 3, months suggested by his surgeon. IMO, his surgeon is doing nobody any favors with this kind of talk, but is just trying to drum up business for his clinic. That's what all the happy talk is about.

Secondly, the Wizards will have to sign another big at some point, like it or not. They will need the extra body in practice. Massenburg is a fine person and a solid veteran, but he's not and never been a center--or a starter. If the Wizards don't get serious about their roster pretty quickly, they'll end up the same way they did last season, with one or more stars out injured due to playing too many minutes.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

"Congratulations Etan! We love you."

Is this the same Robin Ficker that sat behind the Bullets all of those years yelling at Barkley? :)

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 13, 2007 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"Secondly, the Wizards will have to sign another big at some point, like it or not."

I don't think they have to and I think they should keep that spot open if the back-up 2 guard doesn't pan out.

That's more of a concern of my own at this point after seeing them play a little bit.

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 13, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Ray, my hope is if none of our 2 guards steps up (Stevenson, Young, Mason), that will create an opportunity for McGuire to be used there and get more playing time. I love this guy's game, and I think he needs to be on the court as much as possible as soon as possible. His attitude, athleticism, ability to defend multiple positions, rebound, block shots, and pass are too valuable to be sitting on the bench. Be it at the 3 or 2, I really don't think it matters. He may not be as fast as some 2's, but they'll have to deal with his strength and size too. He's got real good handle, and from the 2 he can help on the boards and help defense.

Posted by: Darnell | October 13, 2007 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The details of the surgery are downright frightening. You are blessed, Etan, to have your condition discovered early and be treated at the Mayo. You are blessed with a small fortune and a family that loves you. You are blessed with admirers throughout the city and wider area. You may decide to put basketball behind you for the sake of your health and your family. If so, STEP BOLDLY into the next phase of your life. No regrets!

Posted by: reispace | October 13, 2007 1:51 PM | Report abuse

"Massenburg is a fine person and a solid veteran, but he's not and never been a center--or a starter."

Aside from being untrue--he's played much of his career at C and has started--it's also irrelevant. No big man the Wiz could pick is going to start. Barring a rash of injuries, it's damned unlikely they'll ever play anything more than garbage minutes. Massenburg can do that just as well as anyone, and he brings the benefit of a long-held rep as a good locker-room guy, something this team could use given that as things currently stand, their most senior big is a guy notorious for feuding with the coach, dogging it on the court, and punching teammates. Is that the guy you want mentoring the young guys in the frontcourt? Don't think so.

Posted by: kalorama | October 13, 2007 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Yeah DCracist, and let me know how it goes with your request too. Wouldn't want all the condolences for Etan to get in the way of your Gilbert fixation.

Posted by: zinger2 | October 13, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Everyone please stop responding to DCIdiot. It's obvious he has no friends or life (how could he since he has such a vile personality) and he comes on here to get attention.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 13, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

"Ray, my hope is if none of our 2 guards steps up..."

Well that's the thing. I think we know what we have with Stevenson but after that....

- Ray

Posted by: Ray | October 13, 2007 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone please stop responding to DCIdiot. It's obvious he has no friends or life (how could he since he has such a vile personality) and he comes on here to get attention.

Posted by: | October 13, 2007 05:13 PM "

C'mon, you're like beating off on a dead horse. I admire your persistence though.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 13, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

"Yeah DCracist, and let me know how it goes with your request too. Wouldn't want all the condolences for Etan to get in the way of your Gilbert fixation.

Posted by: zinger2 | October 13, 2007 04:18 PM "

Haha, it's clear that you're more upset about me blogging here than I care about more Etan blogs. Live with it ding-a-ling, and let me know how it goes dingracist.

Posted by: DC Man88 | October 13, 2007 8:44 PM | Report abuse

I see Marc Jackson still seems available. I think we would be a good fit as a replacement. Didn't have bad numbers last year either. Anyone know his status? Thanks.

Posted by: MbWiz | October 14, 2007 9:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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