LaMarcus Aldridge on return from heart scare: ‘It felt good to be back out there’

Aldridge, 31, had been out since March 9 because of what the team described as "a mild heart arrhythmia."

LaMarcus Aldridge was disappointed the Spurs lost Wednesday in his first game back from heart problems, but in the larger scheme of things?

"It felt good to be back out there," Aldridge said (via ESPN.com).

Aldridge, 31, had been out since March 9 because of what the team described as "a mild heart arrhythmia."

His basketball bottom line Wednesday: 19 points, seven rebounds and four assists in 32 minutes of a 110-106 loss to the Trail Blazers.

"We didn't get the win, so that's kind of tough to deal with," Aldridge said. "Happy to be out there with my teammates, and happy to be playing again."

Noted Spurs coach Gregg Popovich:"He looked a little rusty. I don't think he had his rhythm, but his effort was great, and that's all you can ask for."

Not a hint of a double meaning to Popovich's "rhythm" remark. Everyone knows this is serious business, especially Aldridge, who has been dealing with the heart issue his entire 11-season NBA career after being diagnosed as a rookie with Wolff-Parkinson syndrome, an abnormality in the heart's electrical system.

Aldridge said he's confident in protocols that are in place for him, but when asked if the latest incidentscared him, he didn't hesitate.

"Of course, because it was a very serious matter," he said.

Teammate Manu Ginobili agreed, speaking for Aldridge's Spurs teammates: "We were a little worried, a little concerned. That type of issue is not a hand, an ankle, a knee, something like that. It's a pretty important organ."

Pretty important, indeed.

MORE: Spurs' LaMarcus Aldridge cleared to resume play after heart problems

Aldridge described the episode last week in Oklahoma City as "just an off feeling" but didn't want to discuss specifics about how the arrhythmia felt.

"It's just a different feeling," Aldridge said. "I know my body well, and I've been through this before. I told the team and we did the protocol. I saw the right people, and I'm good to go. As we got into it more and more, I talked to more people about it. I was feeling more confident, because it definitely ... it started off the opposite. I'm just thankful for the team acting so quickly, and I saw the right people."

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