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Undiagnosed anemia slowed down JaVale McGee's recovery

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McGee took nearly two years to recover from a leg fracture and finally we have a better idea why.

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

JaVale McGee played his best game of the season against the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday, scoring 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting. After the game, ESPN Dallas' Tim MacMahon discovered an interesting tidbit that had delayed McGee's recovery: doctors discovered McGee had anemia, a condition that left him without enough iron in his blood.

McGee suffered a left tibia fracture in early February of 2014 -- almost two years ago -- which limited him to six games last season for the Philadelphia 76ers. He wasn't cleared to play for the Mavericks until the middle of November. A lack of iron had preventing his leg from healing properly and, once diagnosed, a change in McGee's diet helped set him on the road to recovery, MacMahon reported.

The diet change left him with the unfortunate consequence of McGee arriving at Mavericks' training camp overweight and somewhat out of shape. McGee told reporters he only feels like he's at 90 percent athletically right now, so his recovery is still an ongoing process. But Friday showed what the real potential of a healthy McGee in Dallas' lineup.