Pelicans' Jrue Holiday to miss start of season as pregnant wife faces brain surgery


New Orleans Pelicans' starting point guard Jrue Holiday will miss the start of the NBA season to be with his pregnant wife Lauren, after it was announced the former United States soccer star requires surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Lauren Holiday, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and 2015 World Cup winner, is pregnant with the couple's first child.

The 28-year-old, who retired last year,  is scheduled to have the procedure six weeks after giving birth. The couple's daughter is due in mid-October.

The recently discovered tumour, which doctors believe will not affect the child, is benign and Lauren is expected to make a full recovery.

The procedure will be conducted at Duke University Hospital, which will force the new family to relocate to Raleigh, North Carolina, as Lauren recuperates.

Although he could miss a significant portion of the NBA season, Jrue's primary concern is his wife's health.

"Devastating," Jrue Holiday told the Times-Picayune of the diagnosis. "My family comes before basketball. I'm obviously blessed to play this game and be in the position I am in.

"But my wife is the most important thing in the world to me. She comes before anything else."

Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry has no problem with Jrue's indefinite absence and proclaimed his support for the Holiday family. The team even plans to send a trainer to North Carolina to help keep Jrue in shape.

"The most important thing for Jrue to do right now is be with his wife and family," Gentry said in a statement. "Every one of our coaches and players understands what Lauren and Jrue are going through, and they know we're behind them 100 per cent.

"We'll continue to do everything we can to support them and help them get through these hard times."