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Turiaf, who had heart surgery, feels for Jeff Green

Posted by Gary Washburn Globe Staff  December 20, 2011 10:24 AM

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Jeff Green will miss the season to undergo surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm and a very interested party in Green's situation is Washington Wizards forward Ronny Turiaf, who missed his rookie season in 2005-06 for surgery repair an aortic root.

Turiaf has continued his career without any complications and said he wants to reach out to Green to offer encouragement.

"Basically, I don’t feel too comfortable, remembering that time in my life," he told the Washington Post. "That wasn’t a pleasant time at all. Nor do I know the exact name (of the condition). All I know is I had an enlarged aortic root, so yesterday, I reached out to my agent, Mark Bartelstein, to give me (Green's) number, because I know what he’s going through right now. I know that 24-48 hours after I learned about my condition, I was in a funk. I will do whatever I can to talk to him, because I know for myself, I had Fred Hoiberg to guide me through it. if he sees that, and he’s about me trying to reach out, I really want to reach out because I know what he’s going through."

Turiaf was a Lakers rookie when his condition was discovered during a physical. His contract was voided but he returned to the club next season. Turiaf said he was grateful for the diagnosis, It saved his life.

"Hell yeah. I cheated life. I almost died," he said. "That’s what I tell people all the time. I’m like, regardless of what happened in life, I’m good. I’m blessed, I’m in a situation where I get to be able to take care of my family financially. I’m able to pay for my little sister to go to a private school. I get to be able to pay for my mother’s rent and all that stuff. So I think after you get close to going upstairs and seeing the great architect, you realize that life is really a good one. You have to be grateful for what have and not necessarily see what you don’t have."


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