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Basketball great Sabonis leaves intensive care

Published time: September 30, 2011 09:26
Edited time: September 30, 2011 13:26
Arvydas Sabonis (L) playing for Zalgiris Kaunas in 2004 (AFP Photo / Yoav Lemmer)

Arvydas Sabonis (L) playing for Zalgiris Kaunas in 2004 (AFP Photo / Yoav Lemmer)

Lithuanian basketball legend Arvydas Sabonis, who recently suffered a heart attack, has been transferred from intensive care to a regular ward.

­According to Lithuanian National Radio, citing doctors at the cardiology clinic in Kaunas, the improvement in the 46-year-old’s condition is sufficient to allow him to start preparing for rehabilitation.

However, medics insist that Sabonis must spend another week in hospital. After that, a month of rehab in a nursing home in Lithuania or abroad await the former Portland Trail Blazers man and captain of the Soviet basketball team.

Sabonis experienced chest pains after a basketball game with his friends on Tuesday. He was taken to hospital where the surgeons removed a blood clot from an artery in his heart.

The 2.21-meter-tall Sabonis was one of the greatest players in the history of Soviet basketball. The Lithuanian led the USSR to gold in the 1982 Worlds and the 1988 Olympics before spending a very successful decade in the NBA with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Naismith Hall of Famer quit playing in 2005 and currently works as president of Zalgiris basketball club.