Saturday, October 16, 2004

The Good News Is, He Has the Gout

Those of you who follow sports closely know that sports medicine can be a quirky, often incomprehensible field. The job of a sports doctor is very different from that of a normal MD--not always to heal or cure patients, but rather simply to stave off permanent physical damage or dull pain enough to allow an athlete to perform adequately through an injury. It's not unusual to hear a trainer or coach say something along the lines of,

"Well, McNair does have a collapsed lung and two exposed hemorrhaging arteries that will require surgery at some point. But we'll give him a pain-killing injection, have him run around, try putting some weight on that lung, and if he feels like he can go, he'll go."

As a sports fan, you grow accustomed to hearing and accepting things like that as normal. Your perspective completely askew, you begin to think that someone who is unable to participate weekly in world-class athletic competition due to something as piddly as a separated shoulder or torn hamstring is a selfish, overpaid jock, while an injury like that ruins an average person's year.

I bring this up because I read a story this morning that caught even me, a skewed, jaded sports fan, completely off guard. Here's the opening sentence from a story entitled "Kline Gets Good News on Finger" about an injury to Cardinals Reliever Steve Kline:

HOUSTON -- Steve Kline and the Cardinals got just about the best possible news on Friday concerning Kline's extremely sore left index finger. After examination by a doctor in St. Louis, Kline is believed to have a case of gout aggravating the 70 percent tendon tear in the finger.

Now again, I'm no doctor, and I've heard a lot of crazy things from trainers and coaches. For a reporter to describe a case of the gout, however, as "the best possible news" seems a little strange to me. To be honest, I think everyone's just a little slap-happy about this gout thing. For example, Kline's trainer is quoted as saying that "there is a likelihood that the excess swelling is gout-related. " How often do you get to even say something like that? "Gout-related?" He went on, "he has gout, and that's one of the places gout goes, the extremities. So he's on his gout medication, and usually that takes about 48 hours and he gets some relief."

He's probably had that one in his pocket for years now, just waiting for the right moment, and he finally got it. Kudos to him for that, I suppose.


Blogger Tolles said...

If memory serves, this is not the first time that Kline has developed Gout. What’s with all these weird and gross diseases hitting Major League Baseball? Javier Vazquez gets pinkeye? Jason Giambi has god knows what? The entire Boston Red Sox roster comes down with cholera? (You watch, that team is so dirty.) I think MLB needs to institute a massive de-lousing project - prison style. Then we’ll get some results.

9:13 AM  

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