Ask any hard rock fan, and you might get a different answer to the question “Who is the King of Metal?” They might say Metallica frontman/human torch James Hetfield. Or walking zombie/corporate shill Ozzy Osbourne. Or even good ol’ totally insane Axl Rose. But the right answer just might be Cavs center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.
No, Big Z hasn’t started some underground Lithuanian thrashcore band (although admit it, you would totally pay to go see that live). I’m talking about actual pieces of metal - screws, plates, and God knows what else - all now part of his left foot which has been surgically repaired at least five times. As THE NEWS-HERALD reports, Ilgauskas has so much metal in his foot that it can’t be put through an MRI machine.
At this point, with all the surgeries that Ilgauskas has had on his feet, you would think that the sensible thing to do would be to completely replace them with some sort of bionic contraptions. Perhaps something like that South African double amputee who wanted to race in the Beijing Olympics. Plus, with the extra length those blades would have provided, Ilgauskas would be at least eight feet tall.
But apparently no one has had the foresight to do that yet and - guess what? - Ilgauskas is hurt again. This time it appears to be something fairly moderate, in this case a sprained ankle. After he received X-rays of it while with the team in Philadelphia, the doctors treating him were apparently pretty shocked about the mass of metal in his left foot:
Ilgauskas didn’t have the patience to walk the doctor through his vast medical history, which has included at least five foot surgeries.
All he said was, “It’s a long story”…
The 7-foot-3, 260-pound Ilgauskas retreated to the Cavs’ locker room at the Wachovia Center and began to ice his ankle.
“He came back with three more doctors,” Ilgauskas said.
The team doctor was eager to show his peers the mind-blowing X-rays.
I’m sure that Big Z just loves being treated like a candidate for the”Medical Oddities” wing of the “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum.” All I know is this - if I see Ilgauskas ahead of me at the airport to go through the metal detector, I’m choosing a different line. It would be like the scene from “This is Spinal Tap,” except without the punchline of a cucumber down the pants:
Honestly, let’s just be done with it and turn him into “The Six Million Dollar Man.” If this means that Oscar Goldman has to be the new coach of the Cavs, so be it. (And honestly, could he be worse than Mike Brown?)