Lakers expect second-round pick to make full recovery

Updated: July 27, 2005, 1:08 PM ET
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Lakers second-round draft pick Ronny Turiaf underwent heart surgery Tuesday and was expected to make a full recovery, the team said.

The former Gonzaga star had surgery to repair an enlarged aortic root and preserve his aortic valve. He's expected to be hospitalized about a week.

The six-hour operation was performed by Dr. Craig Miller at the Stanford University Medical Center.

Turiaf, selected 37th overall in the draft, was diagnosed with an enlarged aortic root during a team physical after the draft. Had the condition not been caught and treated it could have been fatal, team spokesman John Black said.

The 6-foot-10 power forward averaged 15.9 points, 9.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.9 blocked shots as a senior at Gonzaga last season. He ranks fourth all time at Gonzaga in scoring (1,723 points) and rebounds (859), second in blocks (179) and is the school's career leader in free throws made (643).

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press