Yesterday news broke that top prospect Star Lotulelei had a previously undisclosed heart condition that caused some panic at the combine among scouts. Lotulelei is viewed as the best interior defensive lineman in the 2013 draft class, and some even view him as a viable option to be the No. 1 overall pick this April.
The Utah defensive lineman left Indianapolis and returned home on Monday after doctors revealed his left ventricle artery wasn’t working the way it should. However doctors further examined Lotulelei and have given him the green light to continue his draft work outs but he won’t be returning to Indianapolis for the combine.
Lotulelei’s agent said the young prospect will visit a heart specialist this week and is fully expected to participate in his Pro Day on March 20th. Lotulelei didn’t fail his physical at the combine but was instead given an “incomplete designation pending the consultation with the specialist”, according to USA Today’s Mike Garafolo.
Garafolo said that he spoke to a person close to the situation who told him the hope is that Lotulelei’s worrisome test results stemmed from factors other than a heart condition. Garafolo wrote that Lotulelei’s camp is holding out hope the high sodium intake or the defensive lineman’s rapid weight loss threw the test off and caused his heart to not work at full capacity.
Lotulelei’s situation is one to watch very closely as not only his draft status is at stake but more importantly his life is at stake. Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end and third overall pick Gaines Adams had an unknown heart condition that caused him to collapse and die back in 2010 and there have been other wide spread cases of athletes succumbing to heart conditions at an early age.
As it stands now, the condition seems to not be worrying doctors too much if they’ve given Lotulelei the green light to work out again, but the situation is far from being resolved.