SAN ANTONIO _ In the days since TNT sideline reporter Craig Sager’s diagnosis with acute myeloid leukemia became public, it was revealed that longtime Mavericks physician T.O. Souryal played a significant role in the initial diagnosis.
Souryal, with the Mavericks in San Antonio for Game 2, said Wednesday that he and Sager have been friends for about 12 years.
Sager, in Dallas for a playoff series in the early 2000s, asked Souryal to look at his sore knee. Souryal wound up doing surgery on Sager’s knee to fix cartilage damage.
Flash forward to this year’s April 10 Mavericks-Spurs regular season game in Dallas. Moments after working the game, Sager told Souryal he hadn’t been feeling well.
“I said, ‘How long have you been like that?’ ” Souryal recalled. “He said, ‘A couple of days.’ I said, ‘I think we need to get this checked out.’ He said, ‘When?’ I said, ‘Tonight.’
Souryal said he offered to take Sager to the hospital himself, but Sager had a TNT crewmember take him.
“I’m optimistic for him because he’s in good shape,” Souryal said. “He runs marathons and always eats right, that sort of thing.
“I think that played a role in him being able to work the (Mavs-Spurs regular-season) game, where you and I would have called 9-1-1 about 24 hours previously.
“I’m very proud to know him. And I think he’ll do well.” Mavericks physician, who insisted TNT’s Sager get to Dallas hospital, says he’ll do well | Dallas Morning News