Zydrunas Ilgauskas details illness
MIAMI -- Zydrunas Ilgauskas thought he had a blister on his foot and didn't pay close attention to it. But when he showed up for a game and the foot was twice its normal size and redness was moving up his leg, Miami Heat team doctors sent him to the emergency room.
What followed were a scary couple of days when Ilgauskas learned he had a type of strep infection and perhaps even the dangerous and antibiotic-resistant strain known as MRSA. He said he and the team have not been able to determine the source of the infection.
"I can deal with broken bones but when something from inside attacks you, I've never had that before," Ilgauskas said after taking part in shootaround with the Heat on Friday morning.
"I had so many antibiotics in my system it was hard to tell what it was. Yeah, it scared me. Thankfully we caught it at the right time and we were able to keep it under control."
Ilgauskas was in the hospital for three days and later had to receive follow-up IV treatments at home to rid the bacteria from his system. He also said he had an important MRI that looked at some hardware in his foot, which was part of a complex procedure to rebuild his foot that saved his career 10 years ago.
"You don't want bacteria to get on the screws in there," Ilgauskas said. "Luckily that wasn't the case."
Ilgauskas will miss his seventh consecutive game Friday when the Heat play the Philadelphia 76ers, but he is on track to return in the near future, having worked out the last two days. He's averaging 5.1 points and 4.3 rebounds in 62 games, 47 of them starts.
"I have to take it day by day. My body is a little weak from missing all the time and [taking] the medications," Ilgauskas said. "My job is to get myself into game shape again."
Brian Windhorst covers the Miami Heat for ESPN.com.
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