Former U.S. Women’s National Team midfielder Lauren Holiday, who is pregnant, will have brain surgery to remove a benign tumor sometime later this year, the Times-Picayune reported. Her husband, New Orleans Pelicans starting point guard Jrue Holiday, will miss an indeterminate amount of the season caring for her.
Lauren Holiday retired from the USWNT after winning the World Cup—she scored a goal in the final against Japan amidst Carli Lloyd’s barrage—pointedly noting that she’d spent the past 10 years of her life with the national team, and was ready to begin a family.
In late June doctors discovered a tumor near Holiday’s orbital socket, on the right side of her brain. The tumor is operable, but cannot be operated on while Holiday is pregnant. She is due in mid-October, and the current plan is for her to undergo brain surgery about six weeks after she delivers. But it is possible that labor will be induced early in order to speed up her treatment.
Until her surgery and for sometime afterward, Jrue Holiday won’t be with the Pelicans, whose training camp begins Sept. 24 and season opener is Oct. 26. Instead he will be in North Carolina—Lauren Holiday will both give birth and undergo surgery at Duke University Hospital—caring for his wife and newborn child. His absence will be a blow to the Pelicans, who were expected last season to build upon 2014-15's playoff appearance, but instead finished the season 30-52.
As the Times-Picayune notes, Lauren Holiday’s tumor is just the latest in a string of tragedies to affect the Pelicans. Shooting guard Bryce Dejean-Jones was shot to death in May, former head coach Monty Williams’s wife, Ingrid, died after a car crash in February, and then-Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson’s girlfriend committed suicide in 2013.