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Nearly midway through Brooklyn’s blowout loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night, after missing all three of his shots from the field and turning the ball over once, Nets forward Mirza Teletovic left the game and Staples Center on his own two feet to venture off to a local hospital. The Bosnian forward was complaining of shortness of breath, but following a battery of tests he assured media …
Saw Mirza in lobby of team hotel last night. Looked to be in good spirits after getting checked out at hospital for shortness of breath.
— Rod Boone (@rodboone) January 23, 2015
… and his Twitter followers alike …
I had a small problem, but now everything is ok... Thx all fans from Bosnia, Spain and USA for support
— Mirza Teletovic (@Teletovic33) January 23, 2015
… that he was just fine.
Sadly, on Friday, we’ve found out that this is far from the case. Teletovic will miss the rest of Brooklyn’s season as he recovers from blood clots in his lung. The Nets released a statement announcing as much:
Brooklyn Nets forward Mirza Teletovic was taken to a local Los Angeles hospital after experiencing shortness of breath during last night's game versus the Clippers. Following a series of tests including a CT scan, Teletovic was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary embolus (multiple blood clots in the lungs). He will remain hospitalized in Los Angeles to undergo further diagnostic testing and to begin treatment, which includes blood thinners being administered. Due to the nature of blood thinners, Teletovic will be unable to play for the remainder of the season. Once he is cleared for travel, he will return to Brooklyn. Further updates on his condition will be provided as necessary.
Teletovic is in his third year with the Nets, one of the few that have played for the entirety of the team’s stay in Brooklyn, acting as one of the most beloved players on a franchise routinely marked with storm and stress:
Mirza Teletovic has been on the Nets since I started covering them & has always been terrific to work with. Hope he's back on his feet soon.
— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) January 23, 2015
Having covered Teletovic for all three of his seasons in Brooklyn, I can telluou that he’s one of the most accessible, thoughtful and best guys to deal with in the locker room. Thoughts are with him as he recovers from this.
Teletovic is averaging 8.5 points and 4.8 rebounds in 22 minutes a game for the struggling Nets, who are seven games under .500 after Thursday’s loss and tied with Charlotte for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. What this diagnosis means for Mirza’s NBA career moving forward remains to be seen, but we certainly hope he can recover in time to become a coveted restricted free agent this summer.
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