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One year after open heart surgery, Celtics’ Wilcox thankful to be where he is today

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1 year ago today, Chris Wilcox underwent open heart surgery. The Celtics Forward reflects on his recovery and the Celtics post-season push.

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

BOSTON - Appearing on Thursday night's Celtics Late Night Show on CLNS Radio, Boston Celtics forward Chris Wilcox proudly announced that Friday will be the one-year mark since his open heart surgery. Wilcox, who missed the later part of the 2011-2012 season due to a heart ailment, believes his health continues to improve every day.

"My health is getting better everyday. I just take it for what it is," Wilcox told CLNS Radio. "When it all started it was a tough situation, but everyday it's getting better. I just look at it like that. I think it's a blessing that I'm here today to talk about it. If they never found it, things may have been a little different."

One-year following his surgery, Wilcox will likely be called onto the parquet floor at the TD Garden by Celtics public address announcer Eddie Palladino as the starting center for the Boston Celtics. Wilcox will be replacing future Hall-of-Famer Kevin Garnett in the lineup. "There's definitely a lot of pressure. We can't be Kevin out there, but what we can do is go out there and compete. That's what I did and that's the mindset I have going into games. Just go out there, play hard, and compete. Everything else will work itself out."

Both Wilcox and his teammate Jeff Green, who celebrated his own one-year mark on Wednesday with a buzzer-beater against the Cavaliers, underwent open heart surgery at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio and both were operated on by Dr. Lars Svensson.

"We had the same doctor, went to the same people. It was good. Dr. Svensson is a great doctor. Once Jeff went and had his surgery I knew I had to follow suit," Wilcox said. "He was so confident. They make you feel so comfortable when you go there (the Cleveland Clinic). I knew it was going to be even better when I got home because they let me know everything; what to expect and when it was going to happen. I also had Jeff as my lifeline. I'd call him to ask for advise and to see if he had the same symptoms. It worked out well and I'm happy to be where I am now."

Dr. Svensson was in attendance for Wednesday night's game in Cleveland against the Cavaliers. The game in which one of his former patients, Jeff Green, scored the game winning layup one year after undergoing open heart surgery. When asked by CLNS Radio's Nick Gelso if the Celtics are looking into bringing Dr. Svensson onto the team for good luck, Wilcox answered, "We need to see if he has any surgeries planned this week, at least for the next two months. We'll see if we can't get him signed to a couple ten days."

Although Dr. Svensson may not have a jump shot comparable to Ray Allen's or the defensive skills comparable to Kevin Garnett's, he certainly has two big fans here in Boston that would love to have another Doc on their side.

Author of this column: Brandon Paul (B-Paul)

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