Tyjon Lindsey

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Two Nebraska players hospitalized following workouts, since released

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The term “rhabdomyolysis” has entered the college football discussion yet again.

New Nebraska head coach Scott Frost confirmed to the Lincoln Journal Star Tuesday morning that two of his Cornhuskers football players were hospitalized recently and treated for rhabdomyolysis following a winter workout.  The two players involved were wide receiver Tyjon Lindsey (pictured) and defensive lineman Dylan Owen, the former who was hospitalized for three days and the latter two.

Both have since been released from the hospital.

“Anything that happens in our program is ultimately my responsibility,” Frost said. “Our strength coach and training room were coordinating to do absolutely the best they could to make sure the transition went smooth, but two kids that exerted themselves too far…

“I want to make sure people understand that the health of our players is always going to be our primary concern. It’s been kind of a scary deal and both kids are doing fine now.”

The Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group describes rhabdomyolysis thusly:

Rhabdomyolysis is defined as “a degeneration of muscle cells and is characterized by a group of conditions including muscle pain, tenderness, weakness, and swelling; myoglobinuria (presence of myoglobin in the urine); and increased levels of sarcoplasmic (muscle) proteins and other muscle constituents in the blood.”

“One of the proteins released from damaged muscle cells is myoglobin. High levels of myoglobin in the blood (myoglobinemia) result in a “spill over” of myoglobin into the urine (myoglobinuria). In certain situations, myoglobin can precipitate in the kidneys and cause renal failure.”

“Equally dangerous can be the leakage of potassium into the bloodstream, which under certain circumstances can interfere with propagation of the heartbeat. Another danger is posed by the possible leakage of excessive calcium into the cell, creating a state of hypocalcemia in the bloodstream, which can lead to irregular heartbeat, muscle spasms, and other symptoms.

In June of 2011, a dozen Iowa football players were hospitalized with rhabdomyolysis for various lengths of time following a workout.  A year ago at this time, several Oregon football players were hospitalized as well with the same issue.