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Iowa basketball player had 9-pound cyst removed from his abdomen

Luka Garza hopes to be ready for Iowa’s season opener after having the equivalent of a bowling ball removed from his abdomen. (AP)
Luka Garza hopes to be ready for Iowa’s season opener after having the equivalent of a bowling ball removed from his abdomen. (AP)

Iowa sophomore Luka Garza recently had a cyst removed from his abdomen.

He’ll be out until at least the beginning of Iowa’s basketball season recovering, but the good news is that the cyst was benign, and he’s expected to be OK following the early September procedure.

The crazy news announced Monday was that Garza was carrying around the equivalent of a bowling ball or a newborn child in his abdomen.

Iowa forward had 9-pound growth removed

Garza told reporters at media day that the growth weighed a whopping nine pounds.

That was nine pounds of mass taking up space and putting pressure on his internal organs.

Yikes.

Garza back to working out after cyst was removed

Iowa coach Fran McCaffery described the struggles the cyst presented for Garza last week to The Gazette.

“It was big, this growth in his abdomen,” Garza said. “Think about it. You’re trying to run and jump and be in shape, lift. Now it’s no longer there, and he won’t be putting pressure on any of his organs.

“He’s walking, he’s riding a (stationary) bike, he’s stand-still shooting. He’s got a smile on his face.”

What a relief that must be. Having nine pounds of intrusive growth removed from one’s belly would put a smile on anybody’s face.

Garza a key player for Iowa

Garza, a 6-11 forward, had a standout freshman year for the Hawkeyes, averaging 12.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and one block while starting 26 of 33 games.

His dad told Hawk Central that Garza hopes to be back for Iowa’s Nov. 8 season opener against Missouri-Kansas City.

“We’re counting on him being back for sure. We just don’t know when,” Frank Garza said. “He wants to be there for the first game. That’s my son, though. That’s his mindset.”

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