A report in an Australian newspaper says sidelined Raptor Nathan Jawai has an enlarged heart and, if the condition does not improve in six weeks, he might never play in the NBA.
The Raptors have kept details of Jawai's case secret for two months, other than repeating he has been tested for cardiac issues that arose before training camp.
But The Sunday Telegraph revealed yesterday that a further six-week rest has been advised by doctors after the latest series of tests. An enlarged heart carries the obvious risk of heart attacks.
"The doctors are being extra cautious,'' Jawai's agent, Daniel Moldovan, told the paper. "It was their recommendation -- not their demand -- that Nate take another six weeks off.
"The fact that nothing got worse over the first six weeks of inactivity seems to indicate it may be something he has had his whole life. I wouldn't say it's nothing to worry about, it's definitely a big concern. But to say his career is in jeopardy might be a little bit premature. Obviously if the results come back negatively (next month), things are getting worse, that would put his career in jeopardy."
Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo would not comment on the report.
"We feel there are rules of procedure and medical confidentiality to observe here," Colanego said. "We will update when it is appropriate."
The 285-pound, 6-foot-10 forward, known as the "Aussie Shaq", was the first indigenous Australian drafted into the NBA, a local hero from the remote north Queensland village of Bamaga. A second-round pick of Indiana this year, he was part of the Jermaine O'Neal trade with the Pacers.
Jawai, 22, is on a guaranteed two-year contract with the Raptors.