On Monday, Channing Frye suddenly appeared in the Los Angeles Lakers' locker room after having emergency surgery over All Star break to remove his appendix, and the forward took time to share the story at his locker.
"If it had burst, I probably would be dead," Frye says about his appendix. "Because I'd been on a lot of airplanes, so when you get it, you have to get emergency surgery."
Frye had been in Cleveland, met the Lakers in Dallas after being traded by the Cavs at the trade deadline. Then, the team returned to Los Angeles to practice before taking a flight to New Orleans. From there, Frye went to Minnesota with the team before returning to Cleveland for personal reasons.
Frye explains why he may not be here to tell the story if his appendix had burst, "If it had burst on more than a three-hour flight, they would have had to have an emergency stop."
Luckily, Frye and the doctors caught the issue before anything like that occurred, but that was due more to chance than to planning.
"I thought it was a pulled groin," Frye tells the story. "I had just been grinding through the pain. Talked to the doctors, and we had agreed like 'Let's get an MRI.' The MRI doctor was kind of freaked out. He was like 'Are you sick? Are you OK?' He was like, 'You're going to need to have surgery today, immediately.' The first day of All Star break—so lucky me.
"Luckily, it didn't burst or do any of that. It's just a weird thing because they had to take it out through my belly button, so they had to twist my belly button back, so I have a scar. But it's good. It could be worse. It could be worse."
Laughing about going Hollywood, Frye adds, "I had an outie. Now I have an innie. It's very aesthetically pleasing, especially I'm near the beach now."
The veteran forward admitted that he didn't know what an appendix was and looked it up on WebMD after getting the surprising news that he would need surgery.
"I'm thinking he's going to tell me I have a pulled groin. And he's like, 'No, go see this doctor, go to the hospital. You're going to have surgery tonight. So, I sat at the house, me and wife, for three days.
"Getting surgery on your stomach sucks—coughing, sneezing, laughing hard. I had a pillow, and you just hold it."
For anyone wondering, Frye doesn't miss the appendix, and now, he can move his leg without pain. So, he's more than happy to have it removed from his body.
"They sent me a picture," Frye says his appendix was three times the size of any picture that pops up on a Google search. "It's gross. They kept that thing. It's disgusting. It's huge."
As of Wednesday, Frye had been cleared to take part in on court non-contact activities, as he slowly worked his way back to being available.