New Orleans Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday is taking a leave of absence from the team to be with his pregnant wife, former U.S. women’s national team star Lauren Holiday, who has battling a brain tumor, the team said Sunday.
“We are all praying for a healthy delivery of their first child and a successful surgery for Lauren,” Pelicans GM Dell Demps said in a statement. “Furthermore, we ask everyone to respect the Holiday’s privacy at this time.”
Lauren Holiday retired from soccer last year after winning two gold medals with the team in 2008 and 2012. She won a championship with FC Kansas City last year.
According to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, Jrue Holiday said that Lauren has an operable benign brain tumor on the right side of her brain and she is eight months pregnant with a new baby.
Lauren’s surgery is set for about six weeks after her October delivery date. The birth might also be induced early. New Orleans still plan to pay Jrue while he takes his time off to be with Lauren.
“We understand that Jrue will miss some games, and his teammates are prepared to step up in his absence,” Demps added. “We will welcome Jrue back with open arms when he is ready to return to the team.”
Demps’ wife also battled a benign brain tumor.
The Holidays plan to stick around the Raleigh, N.C. area while Lauren gets treatment at Duke University.