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Celtics’ Russell Has Arthritis in Both Knees

Jan. 20, 1964 - Bill Russell, the National Basketball Association’s reigning Most Valuable Player, plays with arthritis in both knees, The Boston Traveler reported today. Russell has been taking diathermy and whirlpool treatments — and playing the full 48 minutes of games more often than not for the champion Boston Celtics. The story quoted Russell as admitting he has arthritis in both knees, although it is currently more severe in the left knee. “Nobody’s ever written about it because they don’t know I have it,” the story quoted Russell as saying. “I don’t talk about it usually. Although it’s painful at times, I don’t think it will shorten my career. So I’m concerned about it, but not worried. It’s hard to describe the pain. Like a toothache in the knee, I suppose. I guess I’ve had it since college.”


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