Washington's Oberto Wearing Heart Monitor During Games
At least not when it comes to monitoring his heart.
The Washington center has played four games in the past week with three wires underneath his jersey attached to different sections of his chest. The wires connect to an ECAT, a heart-monitoring device that looks like a pager and is hooked to his shorts.
It's all part of a process Oberto must go through after having last June an ablation, a procedure done to correct his heart's electrical system.
Every three months, Oberto must wear the device and have the wires continuously attached to his chest for seven straight days. A company in New York monitors Oberto around the clock and would call Oberto's doctor if anything irregular surfaces.
So Oberto, who went through the process during a week of games last December, has worn the wires for games last week against Atlanta, Detroit and Orlando and Monday at Utah. He dressed out Tuesday at Denver, the last game during this stretch in which he'll need to be monitored before the device is removed Thursday.
"You can feel the wires,'' Oberto said before the game against the Nuggets. "But it's a good thing for me. It's good to keep an eye on it.''
Since the ablation, Oberto has experienced no further problems with his heart.
"The last couple of days have been good,'' Oberto said of this monitoring period. "They're watching 24 (hours a day) and seven (days a week). It's connected with a phone and then they're watching it online every day to see if they see something.''
Oberto said he's at no risk playing. He said he will need to continue to have his heart checked, although he's hopeful he no longer will have to wear the monitor in three-month intervals after this summer.
Oberto's heart problem first surfaced just before the 2007 playoffs when he was with San Antonio. In last June's ablation, a catheter was inserted into his heart and three spots were found where there were electrical problems.
"They found three spots that were making extra energy and had different pulses of the heart,'' Oberto said. "So they just go and burn around and isolate that spot.''
That apparently fixed the problem. Oberto this season is averaging 1.3 points and 1.5 rebounds in 45 games as a backup.
Although Oberto, a member of the 2004 Olympic gold-medal winning Argentina team, said his heart situation does not put him at any extra risk, he still wants to wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to play in this summer's World Championships in Turkey. He has been invited.
"I'm going to wait to see how I feel just to be safe,'' said Oberto, who said Luis Scola, Andres Nocioni and Carlos Delfino are among those to have committed to play for Argentina while star Manu Ginobili also will wait until the end of the season before deciding. "I don't like to say 'yes' and then, all of a sudden, I can't. Right now, it's 50-50.''
The World Championships run from Aug. 28-Sept. 12. It remains to be seen if Oberto will be wearing wires underneath his Argentina jersey.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at email@example.com or on Twitter @christomasson