MINNEAPOLIS -- Fred Hoiberg met with doctors on Friday to
discuss his recovery from open-heart surgery, but still is
uncertain about trying to become the first man to play in the NBA
with a pacemaker.
Hoiberg, who had surgery in the offseason to repair an aneurysm
in his aortic root, said Friday night that his heart specialist
laid out all the information for him, but stopped short of clearing
him to play again in the NBA.
That leaves three possibilities, Hoiberg said. He can return to
play this season, take the rest of the season off and try to make a
comeback next year, or retire to avoid further health risks.
"The good thing now is I've done all my testing, I've seen all
the doctors I need to see," Hoiberg said. "Now it's up to my
family and myself to try to make the right decision on what's best
for us. It's going to be a very tough decision."
Hoiberg, who led the NBA in 3-point shooting last season, had a
CT scan and echocardiogram earlier this week to examine how his
heart is progressing. He met with Dr. Barry Maron, a renowned
specialist on athletes with heart conditions, on Friday for a final
"He didn't say yes, he didn't say no," Hoiberg said. "He just
threw everything out there in front of us and told us to try and
make the right decision."
Hoiberg plans to hold a family meeting next week with his
parents, his wife Carol and his children to try to come to a
If Hoiberg decides to return, he could not play for the
Minnesota Timberwolves, the team he has played for the last two
Owner Glen Taylor waived him under a one-time amnesty provision
under the new six-year collective bargaining agreement agreed to in
July, both to save money and to keep Hoiberg from trying to return
He has served as an adviser and quasi-assistant coach for the
Wolves this season, but coach Dwane Casey said he would have no
problem if Hoiberg chose to play for another team this season.
"The key is his health, above basketball, above anything
else," Casey said. "He's a competitive guy. Don't let that
innocent look fool you. He has to weigh those things in the
The 10-year veteran did not set a timetable for the decision and
didn't hint that he was leaning one way or the other.
"I'm not going to rush into this," he said. "There's too much
to worry about if I do make a rush decision."