We’ve been getting bits and pieces of the reports about Bill Russell having heart surgery and his recovery, but there were not many details.
But in a Q&A with NBA.com Russell was up front about what happened, the surgery he had three weeks ago and he made it sound like it was no big deal… almost.
I had a valve in my heart that had to be replaced and the way you replace it is by open-heart surgery. Well, open-heart surgery sounds difficult but this was not an emergency. It was something I had to do. The same operation in an emergency is life threatening. This was not life threatening.
They took the valve out and replaced it. It only took a couple of hours to do that. I talked to the doctors after and they said they were pleased with the procedure. They said I would be sore after a while and after that, they said I would feel better than I ever did at this point.
What Russell did not get to do following the surgery was play golf or take a cross-country drive, two of his favorite things. But he is working his way through rehab and getting better.
We all wish him the best with his recovery and hope he is on the golf course again soon. Plus, we want to see him back at Celtics games.