9237090472?profile=originalBy David Amoruso

Is the stress of a long life in the Mafia finally becoming too much for Philadelphia mob boss Joseph “Skinny Joey” Merlino or is he using the old “Sicilian flu” trick? It does look like the tension is getting to him as media reported that he was hospitalized after suffering from “chest pains and coronary spasms and shortness of breath.”

Merlino entered the Boca Raton hospital emergency room on Tuesday, where he was checked by doctors. Tests showed “abnormal” results and “revealed two significant blockages,” according to Edwin Jacobs, Merlino’s lawyer.

The health scare comes just one week before the start of Merlino’s trial, which was scheduled for January 16 in Manhattan Federal Court. The longtime Philly mobster faces a slew of racketeering charges revolving around a nationwide Mafia syndicate involving gangsters from several crime families.

Due to his medical issues, Merlino is taking medication and needs to be under close observation for adjustment of meds. This means that he can’t fly or travel from his home in Boca Raton, Florida – where he has been staying after his release on $5 million bond - to the courthouse in New York for at least two weeks.

His trial is now scheduled to begin on January 22.

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