With Pacers' backing, LeVert focuses on health

Los Angeles (AFP) –


NBA guard Caris LeVert says the trade that sent him from the Brooklyn Nets to the Indiana Pacers last week might just have saved his life.

LeVert arrived in Indiana feeling fine and eager to join his new teammates.

He was shocked when the medical exam needed to confirm the deal found a small mass on his left kidney.

"I'm definitely humbled to know that this trade could have possibly saved me in the long run," the 26-year-old said during a video conference with reporters on Tuesday.

"It's definitely been some trying times for sure, for myself and my family," said LeVert, who arrived at Indiana as part of the blockbuster deal that sent James Harden from Houston to the Nets and Indiana's Victor Oladipo to the Rockets.

"I'm very grateful for such support I've received from not only the Pacers players, but the front office and the fans and everybody associated with this program," he said.

LeVert said on Tuesday that he does not yet know if the mass is cancerous. He is waiting for the results of additional tests before determining any potential next steps, including possible surgery.

For now he is sidelined indefinitely.

"Obviously I want to play as soon as possible. I'm a competitor, I love the game, but for me I think making sure I'm good health-wise is most important right now."

LeVert said he hadn't experienced any pain or symptoms and felt "100 percent healthy" playing for the Nets this season.

"A lot of things creeped through my mind," LeVert said. "I didn't really know what was going on, I didn't know the next steps, I didn't know if the trade was going to go through. But obviously it did and I think that's a testament to this organization," he said.