Larry Bird of the Boston Celtics underwent successful surgery on both heels Saturday and should be able to return to basketball in 3 to 4 months, his surgeon said.
Dr. Arnold Scheller, who performed the 90-minute operation, said Bird would remain hospitalized for 1 or 2 days and wear fixed casts for about 6 weeks. He estimated that for the following 6 weeks Bird would wear removable casts.
Then, he said, it would be up to Celtic Coach Jimmy Rodgers to decide when Bird could play.
If Bird returns in 4 months for Boston's game against San Antonio March 20, he would be back with 19 games remaining in the regular season.
Scheller said his reason for changing his original estimate of a 3-month rehabilitation "is the potential for rupture" of the Achilles' tendons. The tendons were cut in both heels to remove the bone spurs that were irritating them.