Free-agent forward Chris Wilcox has been cleared for full-court contact, his agent said Monday, as the 29-year-old attempts to resume his career after undergoing aortic surgery last March. Wilcox had been playing well for the Boston Celtics as a reserve when the team’s doctors noticed what the team called a “significant” enlargement of his aorta. As a precaution, Wilcox was shut down for the season and operated on at the Cleveland Clinic March 29.
Doctors performed what is known as a “Modified David” procedure, in which a graft was attached to a small piece of Wilcox’s aorta to prevent it from enlarging further after he finishes playing. There was no valve replacement or bypass procedure performed.
Wilcox’s cardiologist, Dr. Matt Hook, of the Wake Heart and Vascular Associates in Raleigh, N.C., cleared Wilcox for full contact in the last few days. Wilcox has been working out in North Carolina the last few weeks, lifting weights and doing cardio work, and is planning to go to Houston to continue his workouts with player development guru John Lucas. Wilcox shot 59 percent from the floor last season for the Celtics, averaging 5.4 points and 4.4 rebounds in a little more than 17 minutes per game.
“After the great year he had with Boston, I know Chris could be a strong contributor for any team,” agent Jeff Schwartz said Monday.
I really like Wilcox and thought he was a good addition to our bench until he went out. However, I think now that he is close to 100% he may be able to come back and be even more productive for us...if we can sign him. I have a feeling he's gonna get better offers elsewhere since we are pretty occupied with signing up our other players as well as scouring the free agent market. If everything goes right having Wilcox and signing Ray and also adding talent, we'd have a pretty tough bench and team. Sign Wilcox!!