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Former U.S. soccer star Lauren Holiday to undergo surgery to remove brain tumor

Holiday, who retired from competitive soccer last year, will have surgery six weeks after giving birth. Her husband, NBA point guard Jrue Holiday, will take a leave of absence to care for her.

Lauren Holiday will undergo surgery six months after giving birth. She is due in mid-October. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Former U.S. soccer star Lauren Holiday will undergo a serious procedure after doctors discovered a tumor on the right side of her brain, according to Jeff Duncan of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Holiday, who is married to NBA point guard Jrue Holiday and is pregnant with the couple’s first child, will undergo the surgery six weeks after she gives birth. She is currently due in mid-October, though the couple would like to induce labor to expedite her treatment if possible. The tumor is not expected to affect the unborn child’s health.

Jrue Holiday will take a leave of absence from the New Orleans Pelicans to care for his ailing wife. He is expected to miss at least the beginning of the 2016-17 season, and a return date will depend on Lauren Holiday’s recovery.

Lauren Holiday announced her retirement from competitive soccer at the age of 27 after Team USA's victory in the 2015 Women's World Cup. Many were surprised that she walked away from the game in the middle of her prime, but she said spending more time with her family was a primary motivation.

"My heart breaks for so many things, so I feel like as awesome of a lifestyle it is, it's also a very selfish lifestyle," she told NBC Sports. "Your schedule is predetermined. I can't go a day without training or thinking about training and I feel like professional athletics is very you-central and I feel like I was ready to serve other people."

She began experiencing headaches two months ago, and a image scan revealed the tumor on the right side of her brain. Multiple second opinions confirmed the diagnosis. She will undergo the procedure at the Duke University hospital, and the couple will relocate to Raleigh for the duration of her treatment.

"Lauren has her good days and her bad days; some are better than others," Jrue Holiday told the Times-Picayune. "She's obviously a fighter, the toughest woman I know. That's the reason why I married her."