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Lotulelei’s medical condition ‘just breaks your heart’

Star Lotulelei, Isi Sofele AP

In his three seasons at Utah, Star Lotulelei never once missed a game due to either injury or some type of health issue. Following a season in which he was a consensus first-team All-American, the defensive tackle was viewed by many as a potential No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming April draft.

A health scare, however, leaves the lineman facing an uncertain future.

As noted in the one-liners below, Lotulelei will not be permitted to work out at the NFL combine Monday, ESPN‘s Chris Mortensen reported, “after an echocardiogram revealed that the former Utah defensive tackle has a heart condition that requires more testing.” Specifically, it was detected that the left ventricle of his heart was pumping at only 44 percent efficiency, with the normal range being between 55-70 percent efficiency.

Lotulelei is expected to visit a specialist this week, although he still plans on participating in Utah’s Pro Day next month.

For the school’s part, a spokesperson told the Salt Lake Tribune that she is unaware of what type of heart tests were involved in physicals taken by Ute student-athletes in general and football players specifically.  While head coach Kyle Whittingham was unavailable for comment, Utah athletic director Chris Hill expressed sympathy for the standout player.

“He’s such a great guy that hearing something like this just breaks your heart,” he said. “We all wish him well and hope that whatever the issue is gets worked out.

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9 Responses to “Lotulelei’s medical condition ‘just breaks your heart’”
  1. bamafan36 says: Feb 25, 2013 9:08 AM

    What a shame. I hope that this is something they can fix.

  2. scalpemseminoles says: Feb 25, 2013 9:11 AM

    “breaks his heart” lol puns

    here comes a 30 for 30

  3. tubaplayingprof says: Feb 25, 2013 9:30 AM

    Might be a blessing after all. I just watched the 30 for 30 feature on NFL players’ financial troubles and with all the news about serious ongoing health issues and consequences that arise from playing pro football, I’m not sure that not playing in the NFL is always such horrible news.

    but with only part of his heart working for him, he’s a beast to have achieved such success in college.

  4. mj1818 says: Feb 25, 2013 11:24 AM

    Life isn’t over for him if it is something that keeps him from the field. He will have many opportunities to spread his word and influence through the life of coaching.

  5. parkcityute says: Feb 25, 2013 11:49 AM

    I have followed Star from a distance for several years before he came to the Utes. His game against Khled Holmes of USC was a war, which from my biased point of view, Star won.

    It is sad to hear of this heart abnormality. Maybe it can be repaired. He is a great player, a good man, with a great work ethic. I think he will be able to prepare for any future.

    Best to you Star! Go Utes!

  6. ldfontenot says: Feb 25, 2013 12:47 PM

    Can you imagine his play at 100%?; he was lights out with half a heart working. I am very interested in knowing the outcome of his story and wish a heart expert would address the media about what exactly his condition is and if it’s possible to be corrercted.

  7. howintensive says: Feb 25, 2013 1:00 PM

    30 for 30: “What if I told you there was a player who played with more heart than anyone else? “

  8. lanjoith says: Feb 25, 2013 2:23 PM

    He’s already been cleared to resume practicing. Let the story develop before you write his obituary. Journalism in 2013 at its finest.

  9. tubbman27 says: Feb 25, 2013 11:07 PM

    Was the title a really poor taste pun?

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