Iverson headed back to the US for surgery

12 Jan
File - Former NBA player Allen Iverson of Besiktas Cola Turka reacts during their Turkish basketball league game against Fenerbahce Ulker in Istanbul, Turkey, in this Sunday, Nov. 21, 2010 file photo. Besiktas says former NBA star Allen Iverson injured his right ankle and will have an MRI scan on Thursday.  Besiktas spokesman Kursat Kaplan said Wednesday Jan. 12 2011 that the club will assess Iverson's future after the MRI.

Former NBA star Allen Iverson plans to have a lesion removed from his right leg in the United States and intends to rejoin his Turkish team in time for the playoffs.

Gary Moore, Iverson’s longtime manager, said Iverson told him Wednesday that he doesn’t plan to retire because of the painful condition.

Moore said Iverson has a lesion that is pressing up against the bones of his leg and requires surgery in the U.S.

“It has to be removed and tested to see if it’s benign or not,” Moore said by phone. “Once that’s removed, Allen is going to look to rehabilitate his leg because the doctors tell him he’ll be out four to six weeks, He’s hoping to be able to play in the playoffs.”

Besiktas spokesman Kursat Kaplan said Wednesday the team would assess Iverson’s future after another MRI this week.

Moore had no timetable for Iverson’s surgery, only that that it was “soon.”

“People need to know that Allen is and always has been a fighter,” Moore said. “He’s got a battle ahead of him.”

Moore said Iverson “totally disputes” reports out of Turkey that he was set to retire.

The 11-time NBA All-Star has said he’s happy with his new career in Turkey, though his start has been mixed since playing his first game in November.

Iverson, the NBA’s Most Valuable Player in 2001, agreed to a $4 million, two-year deal with Besiktas after no NBA team offered him a contract. Moore said Iverson last played Saturday.

“This is the most pain he’s ever felt from any injury he’s had,” Moore said. “He’s been in tremendous agony.”

Iverson spent 10 seasons in Philadelphia before bouncing through Denver and Detroit, ending up in Memphis last season.

He played only three games before returning for a second stint with the Sixers, where he averaged 13.9 points in 25 games. He took a leave of absence toward the end of the season to deal with some family matters, which he said have been resolved.

When no NBA team was interested in him, Iverson was wooed by Besiktas executive board member Seref Yalcin to continue his career overseas.

“He’s enjoying the beauty of the country, the beauty of the people,” Moore said. “No one has any expectations of him other than what he gives on the basketball court. No one cares about what he did five, six years ago.”

 

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