CHRIS ANSTEY had an ironclad rule about hospitals while playing basketball in Russia, yet a sudden emergency left him naked, freezing and strapped to a table while awake as a scalpel approached.
When I put pen to paper to play my third season in Russia in 2004, I had a much greater understanding of what I was signing-up for than the eyes-wide-open version of me two years earlier. I had even come up with a rule book of sorts to get the most out of my time there.
Many of these rules were constantly required: Only drink out of a sealed bottle; never eat the ice; always buy food a week in advance; always carry cash to negotiate your way out of troublesome situations.
But there was one rule that sat on the top of them all from my very first day in Russia: If my family or I ever faced a medical emergency, leave immediately. The reason for Rule No.1 was simple. The medical care and facilities were…