Major heart trouble ruled out as cause of Williams' collapse

August 21, 1992|By Barry Cooper | Barry Cooper,Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Magic forward Brian Williams, who collapsed Aug. 11 during a summer-league game in Redondo Beach, Calif., doesn't appear to be suffering from any major heart problems, a medical consultant to the Magic said Wednesday.

Dr. Kerry Schwartz, a member of the Florida Heart Group, said tests administered in California indicate Williams' heart isn't damaged.

"There are no major valve problems, no coronary artery obstructions," Schwartz said. "I would say his prognosis is good. I certainly think he will be able to [resume] play."

Williams' doctors haven't disclosed what caused his collapse. He was treated by paramedics after falling to the floor at Redondo Beach High School during a Southern California Summer Pro League game. He has been released from a hospital but has been undergoing tests on an outpatient basis.

Williams, 23, has declined requests to be interviewed but is expected to speak about his health once his testing is complete.

"He is going through a final battery of tests, but we are not hearing anything negative," Magic general manager Pat Williams said.

Schwartz hasn't examined Williams but has been conferring with his doctors in California. The Magic are hopeful Williams will return to Orlando soon.

"We would like to get him under the wing of our doctors," Pat Williams said. Brian Williams' agent, Fred Slaughter, informed the Magic on Wednesday that Williams is ready to return to Orlando as soon as doctors give him permission to travel.

Some of Williams' tests required a puncture wound in the groin area, and it may take up to 10 days for that to heal, Schwartz said.

Orlando has a number of injury problems. Forwards Jerry Reynolds (neck) and Dennis Scott (knee) are coming off operations, and doctors detected an irregular heart beat in center Greg Kite last month.

"In a worst-case scenario," Pat Williams said, "the doctors won't let Brian Williams continue to play, Greg Kite will continue to have trouble, Dennis Scott's knees won't be right and Reynolds just won't be the same. But as an optimist, I always have to look at the bright side. I think we are going to feel a lot better once we get all the players out on the court."

One player who may or may no be on the court for Orlando is center Stanley Roberts. The Magic have acknowledged they are interested in trading him, and Williams said he would welcome an inquiry from the Boston Celtics. Celtics officials were not available for comment Wednesday.

The Celtics became one of the few teams easily able to afford Roberts when forward Larry Bird retired Tuesday. Bird earned $7 million last season. Under league rules, the Celtics would be allowed to use a portion of his salary -- at least $1.5 million -- to acquire another player.

Williams said it's possible the Celtics may inquire about Roberts. "Their center [Robert Parish] is 39 years old," Williams said. "Milwaukee has a center [Moses Malone] who is 38. A lot of clubs are interested in Stanley Roberts."

The Miami Heat have said they are interested in trading for Roberts. But the Heat, Celtics and Magic all are in the same division. Teams try to avoid trading within their division.

"It's something I try not to do," Williams said.

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