| ||SAN ANTONIO -- Kidney transplant recipient Sean Elliott
hopes to make his unprecedented return to the NBA on Tuesday -- a
home game before his family, friends and doctors.
"I won't have it any other way," he says.
The San Antonio Spurs play Atlanta at the Alamodome that night,
the team's first home game after a three-game road trip.
If Elliot were to play then, he would be playing almost seven
months after transplant surgery last summer. No pro athlete has
returned to his or her sport after a kidney transplant.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said the forward, 32, had a good practice Wednesday and it's possible he could play against Atlanta.
"It's looking pretty good," Popovich said. "If things
continue as they are now and there are no setbacks, then March 14
might be reasonable. We'll see how it goes between now and then,
but it looks like a pretty good date."
Initially, he hoped to return by midseason, but flu in December
and subsequent difficulties delayed his comeback.
Elliott was stricken with focal segmental glomerular sclerosis,
which prevents the kidneys from filtering waste from the blood.
Without the transplant, he soon would have been forced to undergo
His brother, Noel, donated one of his kidneys for the Aug. 16
Elliott, a 6-foot-8 forward from Arizona, is in his 11th season
in the league. His outside shooting and defense were crucial in the
Spurs' championship last season.