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NBA considers standard for player physicals

10/20/2005 - NBA

NEW YORK -- The NBA is considering a league-wide standard
for physical exams following the death of Atlanta Hawks center
Jason Collier.
Individual team doctors from each of the NBA's 30 franchises
currently determine the physical exams for their players.
"The medical protocols employed by our teams have traditionally
been left to the best practices of team physicians," NBA spokesman
Tim Frank said. "However, in light of recent events that have
occurred not just in the NBA but in other sports as well, we think
it is prudent to follow up with our teams to find out what the
norms are across the league."
All players get physicals before training camp, and some teams
use echocardiograms to detect heart problems. But not all teams use
the tests and the league has no standard for physicals, USA
Today reported Thursday.
The 28-year-old Collier died Saturday after he had difficulty
breathing at home. His agent, Richard Howell, said Collier may have
had an enlarged heart.
San Francisco 49ers lineman Thomas Herrion died of a heart
attack Aug. 20 following a preseason game in Denver.
A number of NBA players have had heart-related problems,
including New York Knicks forward Eddy Curry. The Knicks recently
acquired the 22-year-old Curry from the Chicago Bulls, more than
six months after he had an irregular heartbeat that caused him to
miss the final 13 games of last season and the playoffs.
He was traded after refusing to take a DNA test to determine a
possible genetic heart problem.
Minnesota guard Fred Hoiberg had open heart surgery in June and
will miss the upcoming season. Houston forward Juwan Howard
developed viral myocarditis, an infection of the heart, after
getting the flu late last season, and required six months rest.