Dr. M.: Green's a lucky guy

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Dr. M.: Green's a lucky guy

By Dr. Neil Minkoff
Special to CSNNE.comJeff Green is a lucky guy.Yes, he's out for the season because he needs surgery for an aortic aneurysm. But he's lucky because a) it was discovered and b) it can be fixed.About 13,000-15,000 people die from aneurysm every year in the United States. Almost none of them know they have a blood vessel waiting to rupture. At least Green does, early enough to repair it.An aneurysm is a weakness in the artery wall that stretches out from the high pressure of the blood flowing through it. Think of a bubble on a bicycle tire. Most aneurysms have no symptoms so the first sign of a problem is when they start to rupture. This can happen in two ways. The first is a straight rupture, where the artery bursts and the blood flows out into the chest or abdomen. The seecond type is called a dissectiob. In a dissection, the wall of the artery splits between layers and the blood flows into the wall itself, widening that tear.Both are incredibly dangerous and a rupturing or dissecting aneurysm requires emergency surgery. The outcome tends to be dicey, as well.An aneurysm can happen anywhere there is a blood vessel. Aneurysm in the vessels in the brain can cause a form of stroke.The most common aneurysms, like Green's, involve the aorta, which is the biggest artery in the body. The aorta takes blood from the heart through the chest and abdomen before splitting in two to go to the legs. An aneurysm can occur in either the section that goes through the chest (called a thoracic aneurysm) or the abdomen (called an abdominal aortic aneurysm or AAA). If the aneurysm is high enough on the aorta, it can interfere with the blood flowing out of the heart, leading to a leaky valve.The best outcomes for aortic aneurysms are the ones that are found by accident, like this one. This has gotten more common over the years, as more and more people get X-rays, CT scans and MRIs. The great advantage is that the patient can get a full work-up and have planned surgery before the aneurysm is rupturing or dissecting.The surgery depend on the locatiuon of the aneurysm, which I don't think is public knowledge. What will happen, though, is that the weak part of the vessel will be reinforced and stabilized. Even though this can now be done without a full, open surgery, I would opt for the full procedure in Green's case. That would provide the best peace of mind for a player who plans to resume full NBA schedule and the contact involved in banging on the floor.

Rondo says he will not play tonight

Rondo says he will not play tonight

Rajon Rondo, out with a fractured right thumb, will not play for the Chicago Bulls against the Celtics tonight in Game 5 of their first-round playoff series at TD Garden, according to multiple reports.

The series is tied at 2.

Rondo, the Bulls point guard who played the first two game of the series, was reportedly going to try and test the thumb tonight but told reporters Wednesday morning he couldn’t play. 

Game 6 is Friday in Chicago. Game 7, if necessary, is Sunday in Boston.  Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg called Rondo's return a "longshot."

More to come. 
 

POLITICO sees Epstein as potential savior for Democrats

POLITICO sees Epstein as potential savior for Democrats

A piece that ran on POLITICO Wednesday morning explored an interesting possibility: A potential political career for longtime baseball executive Theo Epstein. 

The piece, titled “Could Theo Epstein Perform a Miracle for the Democrats?” comes a month after Fortune magazine ranked the Cubs president of baseball operations No. 1 on its annual ranking of the world’s greatest leaders. In the POLITICO article, Ben Strauss, in addition to noting the 43-year-old’s accomplishments with the Red Sox and Cubs, hits on several instances in which Epstein’s leadership has been mentioned in relation to politics. 

Strauss then goes on to interview CNN senior political commentator (and Cubs fan) David Axelrod about whether Epstein could be a saving grace with “Democrats on the lookout for a new generation of talent.”

The interview sees both POLITICO and Axelrod compare Epstein to Barack Obama. Says Axelrod: 

They both have two kinds of intelligence: emotional intelligence and a more linear intelligence. They both have the self-confidence to surround themselves with very smart people. Theo’s had a core group around him (general manager Jed Hoyer and head of amateur scouting Jason McLeod) since the beginning in Boston. It’s striking how much he relishes smart people around him and has the confidence to be challenged...Obama had it, too. I would add that Epstein has learned on the job. In Boston he was a pioneer [in using statistical analysis]...He’s told me that he used to be dismissive of the touchy-feely stuff [in evaluating baseball players], but now his scouts write five-page essays about the guys they’re going to draft. In the same way, Obama would tell you he was a better president at the end of eight years than at the beginning. He was smart enough to learn on the job, too.

Asked whether Epstein could win a statewide race for governor or Senate in Illinois, Axelrod replied, “Yeah, he could,” but questions whether Epstein has “the desire to hold public office.”

“I think Theo would be frustrated in public office because of the situation he’s in now,” Axelrod said. “He basically has free rein to do what he needs to do for the success of the organization. That is not the case in politics—you’re seeing that with the governor in Illinois (Bruce Rauner) right now. You have to deal with legislatures and all kinds of public stakeholders. And if you’re used to making things happen, I’m not sure the Senate would be a particularly satisfying job for you. When I talked to him on my podcast...about what he might want to do next...he allowed that he might want to own a team sometime and use that team or use that platform to try to impact on a community. He clearly cares about the larger world and wants to make an impact...But there are many, many reasons I think Cubs fans can relax and enjoy the benefits of his leadership for many years to come.”