Amazing news: Jrue Holiday, who has spent the past three months with his wife as she has dealt with medical issues, is back practicing with the New Orleans Pelicans. Why return now?
“Because my wife said I could,” Holiday said, according to ESPN.
Holiday’s wife, Lauren, gave birth to their daughter in September. One month later, she underwent surgery to remove a benign tumor from the right side of her brain. As she has recovered, Holiday has taken a break from the NBA to tend to Lauren.
"It was really just to see where my wife was in her recovery,” Holiday said. “And since she's doing so well, and since my daughter's getting bigger, and since my family and her family are there to help her out with anything...I just feel comfortable being back and being able to leave them, if it's on a road trip or whatever it is. As hard as it is, again, I'm really excited."
Holiday will play Friday in the Pelicans’ game against the Portland Trail Blazers. Holiday respectfully declined to give specifics on Lauren’s condition, according to ESPN.
Lauren (the former Lauren Cheney), 29, played for the U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team for eight years. Holiday said they’ll spent plenty of time together on FaceTime when he is out of town for road trips.
After discovering Lauren’s condition this summer, the Holidays relocated to North Carolina to be close to the Duke health specialists who handled her surgery.
"My wife was, I think, four or five months pregnant, and all of a sudden she found out she had a tumor," Holiday said. "Because she has another person in her, obviously there are things she couldn't do for them to know what type of tumor it was or how serious it was."
Holiday said the Pelicans have been supportive throughout this tough period.
“So many people since I've been back, they don't even ask how I'm doing, they ask how my wife's doing,” Holiday said. “And to me, that's awesome. That just shows how great people are around us."
Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said Holiday will ease back into game speed, and may not start right away.
"It's going to be fine," Gentry said. "Obviously it's going to take a little while for him to get his timing back, from a basketball standpoint. I think he's in really good shape conditioning-wise and everything, but you have to actually participate and play in games to get your basketball timing."
Great news both for the Pelicans (who are 2-10) and for the NBA community in general. We're all pulling for Lauren to recover quickly.