Lakers' draft pick returns to Spokane for R-and-R

Updated: August 2, 2005, 10:11 PM ET
Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Los Angeles Lakers second-round draft pick Ronny Turiaf was released from Stanford Medical Center on Tuesday, one week after heart surgery, and returned to Spokane for rest and rehabilitation.

In a statement issued by Gonzaga University, the former Bulldogs standout asked the news media and public to respect his privacy.

"As soon as I return to Spokane, get settled and have my rehabilitation program outlined, I will meet with the media to update you to the best of my ability as to what is ahead for me," he said.

Turiaf, the 37th pick in this summer's NBA draft, had surgery July 26 to repair an enlarged aortic root. Doctors found his aortic valve was functioning properly and did not need replacement.

As a Gonzaga senior last season, a 6-foot-10 power forward averaged 15.9 points, 9.5 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press