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Heart issue sidelines Spurs' Aldridge

I believe I can fly: Thunder guard Russell Westbrook skies for a dunk Saturday. Westbrook got his 32nd triple double, breaking a tie for second most in a season with Wilt Chamberlain.
I believe I can fly: Thunder guard Russell Westbrook skies for a dunk Saturday. Westbrook got his 32nd triple double, breaking a tie for second most in a season with Wilt Chamberlain.
Published Mar. 12, 2017

SAN ANTONIO, Texas — Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge will be out indefinitely because of a minor heart arrhythmia, the latest occurrence of heart issues for the five-time All-Star.

Aldridge, 31, will have further tests before the Spurs can determine how long he will be out, the team announced Saturday. Aldridge has had heart issues in the past and was diagnosed with Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome — an abnormality that can cause a rapid heartbeat — as a rookie in 2007.

"All parties have concluded that at the current time it is best for Aldridge to refrain from play until further tests and examinations are completed," the Spurs said in a statement.

Aldridge missed the final seven games of his rookie season with Portland after doctors used an ablation — a procedure designed to treat tissue in the heart to make the heartbeat regular again — to treat him and get him back on the court.

He also needed an ablation during training camp in 2011 but was able to return to the court in time to play in the preseason and made the All-Star team for the Blazers that season.

The Spurs were well aware of Aldridge's heart issue when they signed him to a max contract as a free agent in 2015. It always has been considered a minor situation and he has been able to return to playing relatively quickly after each episode, but they still weren't taking any chances.

"Unexpected, but it's a sensitive issue, so we want to make sure that he's fine," said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili.

The news for Aldridge comes on the heels of star forward Kawhi Leonard being placed in the league's concussion protocol. Both missed the Spurs game against the Warriors, but San Antonio still won 107-85.

Golden State was also shorthanded as Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala all sat out.

Game Highlights: Russell Westbrook had 33 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for his 32nd triple double of the season, leading the host Thunder past the Jazz 112-104. Westbrook broke a tie with Wilt Chamberlain (1967-68) for the second-most triple doubles in a season. Oscar Robertson had 41 in 1961-62. … LeBron James had 24 points, 13 assists and 12 rebounds, and the visiting Cavaliers stopped a three-game losing streak with a 116-104 win over the Magic. … Anthony Davis had 46 points and 21 rebounds as the visiting Pelicans beat the Hornets 125-122 in overtime. … Dion Waiters scored 20, and the host Heat beat the Raptors 104-89 to improve to 21-4 in its last 25 games.

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