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Elliott May Return To Spurs

Sean Elliott was tired Thursday, three days after his kidney transplant, but he said he otherwise is doing well and may return to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs.

Appearing in public for the first time since receiving his brother's kidney, Elliott thanked well-wishers from around the world who have sent flowers, cards and e-mail messages.

"I feel like I'm doing great. I'm a little tired. But other than that, I'm just excited," he said. "I just want to enjoy life, that's for sure."

Elliott wore a golf shirt and warm-up pants while sitting in a wheelchair beside family members as he spoke with reporters in the lobby of Methodist Specialty and Transplant Hospital.

Doctors performed the transplant at the hospital Monday.

Elliott's 32-year-old brother, Noel Elliott, donated one of his kidneys, which was immediately implanted in Elliott's body.

"It's been hard, kind of, to move. My brother gave me a giant kidney, so I've got this extra lump in here and it's a little different," Elliott said. "But it's working really good."

Elliott, 31, a 10-year NBA veteran who helped lead San Antonio to its first NBA title in June, needed the transplant because of a disease called focal segmental glomerular sclerosis. Doctors don't know what causes the illness, which prevents the kidneys from properly filtering waste from the blood.

Without the transplant, Elliott likely would have had to begin kidney dialysis in a matter of weeks. He said there is no way he can repay his brother for donating the kidney, which Elliott called "the greatest gift."

"I've just got to be the best brother I can and take care of what he's given to me," he said, joking that he probably would get his brother some Spurs game tickets, too.

It hasn't been revealed when the two brothers will be released from the hospital. Sean Elliott is expected to stay longer, until about a week after the surgery.

"They're both doing extremely well. We couldn't wish them any better," said transplant surgeon Dr. Francis Wright.

Elliott has said he would like to return to the Spurs. On Thursday, he said he hadn't thought much yet about an NBA comeback, although he didn't rule it out.

"If I feel as good and keep progressing as I have been, I'm sure I'm going to want to have a go at it. But we'll have to wait and see," he said.

This week Elliott has concentrated mostly on trying to walk around. He said he may spend some of his recovery time in Tucson, Ariz., his hometown where several family members live.

But because his doctors and treatment are in San Antonio, much of his recuperation period will be spent in Texas.

Othr NBA players have called, visited or sent flowers. Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Detlef Schrempf and former Spurs player Vinny Del Negro have been among those offering support, Elliott said.

David Robinson, Avery Johnson and Steve Kerr of the Spurs have visited the hospital.

"Dave came by, Avery came by. Avery was scared to death. I think I scared him," Elliott said with a chuckle. "I had all these tubes and stuff coming out of me, so I don't think he was used to that."

Elliott and his family were tense the day of the transplant, he said.

"It was something else," he said. "I was a little nervous when I got out (of surgery), but they started telling me how good I was doing."

Elliott urged others to follow his brother's example and become an organ donor.

"I'm just so proud of him," Elliott said. "To be able to give a part of your body like that is just an amazing sacrifice."

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