Georgia State QB Mikele Colasurdo diagnosed with heart condition after COVID-19 infection, will miss season

Sam Cooper
·3 mins read

Georgia State quarterback Mikele Colasurdo has been diagnosed with a heart condition after contracting COVID-19 and will not be able to play this season, he announced Thursday.

Colasurdo, a true freshman, said in a message posted on Twitter that the “procedures and tests” in place at Georgia State allowed the doctors to make the diagnosis.

“Ultimately it was the procedures and tests set forth by GSU that allowed the doctors to find this condition in my heart and help keep me safe. I am very thankful,” Colasurdo wrote. “I can’t wait to watch my team compete this fall.”

Colasurdo said he intends to return to the field for the 2021 season and thanked Panthers head coach Shawn Elliott and the school’s training staff for providing a safe environment for the team to train and practice.

Georgia State issued a statement Thursday saying it “cannot comment on an individual student-athlete’s health,” citing privacy laws.

"Georgia State Athletics works with its medical partners to provide the best possible care to its student-athletes,” the statement said. “The GSU medical staff regularly reviews the latest information and recommendations about SARS-CoV-2 infection in athletes, including information about cardiac concerns, and implements all relevant evaluation and treatment protocols. We believe these protocols are what will keep us safe this season."

Georgia State, a member of the Sun Belt, is scheduled to open its season at home against Louisiana on Sept. 19.

Georgia State quarterback Mikele Colasurdo has been diagnosed with a heart condition after contracting COVID-19 and will not be able to play this season. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Georgia State quarterback Mikele Colasurdo has been diagnosed with a heart condition after contracting COVID-19 and will not be able to play this season. (Photo by David John Griffin/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Heart issues popping up in athletes

Athletes in both college and professional sports have been linked to myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, after contracting COVID-19. In severe cases, myocarditis “weakens your heart so that the rest of your body doesn’t get enough blood” and can cause clotting, leading to a stroke or heart attack, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Colasurdo told The Athletic that he tested positive for COVID-19 in July, but two recent tests came back negative. A GSU trainer advised Colasurdo to have his heart checked, where some abnormalities were found. Colasurdo told The Athletic that the cardiologist he saw is pretty sure he has a case of myocarditis that is “more on the mild side.” Further testing to confirm a diagnosis is scheduled for Friday.

“The cardiologist was pretty confident it’s a case more on the mild side,” Colasurdo told The Athletic. “A lot of it is going to just be precautionary because they really just don’t know what’s going to happen in the long term. If the cardiologist wasn’t super worried, I’m doing OK.”

Earlier in August, the mother of Indiana offensive lineman Brady Feeney wrote in a social media post that her son was dealing with heart issues following a positive COVID-19 test. The Athletic reported Aug. 10 that the Big Ten was aware of “at least 10 players” with myocarditis. The Big Ten elected to postpone fall sports a day later.

Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren said Wednesday in an open letter that there is too much unknown about the virus and its aftereffects to play fall sports. He specifically referenced cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle that can be caused by myocarditis.

“There is simply too much we do not know about the virus, recovery from infection, and longer-term effects,” Warren said. “While the data on cardiomyopathy is preliminary and incomplete, the uncertain risk was unacceptable at this time.”

ESPN had previously reported that Big Ten officials had discussed “the uncertainty about the long-term effects of myocarditis” in meetings leading up to the decision to postpone the season.

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