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Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Spurs' Oberto (irregular heartbeat) to miss two games

Associated Press

SAN ANTONIO -- Spurs forward Fabricio Oberto will miss the first two games of the season after undergoing treatment for an irregular heartbeat.

Oberto told Spurs trainers at practice Tuesday while he was lifting weights that he felt a fluttering in his heart. A heart test confirmed the abnormal rhythm, known as atrial fibrillation. He underwent a procedure Tuesday night to restore his heart's normal rhythm.

"Luckily he's very vocal about it," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "We immediately set him down, and they did the procedure to get him back on track."

The Spurs said Oberto will have daily heart tests for the next five days. If his heartbeat remains normal, he is expected to return Tuesday at home against Dallas. San Antonio opened the season Wednesday night against Phoenix.

It's the second time he's been bothered by the condition. After he was bumped in the neck during a game in May 2007, Oberto missed four days of practice before the playoffs after his heart was found to be out of rhythm.

"We're going to be very cautious," Popovich said. "When he feels great and if the doctors are confident, then we'll go ahead and play him."

The 33-year-old native of Argentina played in all 82 games last season, averaging 4.8 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.

"If this happens again from two years from now, that pattern would start to give us pause," Popovich said.