By Jeremy Mauss, 1320kfan.com contributer
Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei received some very unfortunate news during his medical exam at the NFL Combine over the weekend. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen Lotulelei has a heart condition which is causing some abnormailities which is causing his Ejection Fraction to be low.
His left ventricle of his heart is pumping only with a 44 percent efficiency, a normal range is anywhere betwen 55 and 70 percent.
With this discovery Lotulelei did not participate in any of the physical workouts, and is going to undergo more testing back in Salt Lake City. Make no mistake, this is a big deal, and this heart condition will certainly knock him down many draft boards until further testing is completed.
Prior to the discovery of the heart condition, Lotulelei was projected as a top-five pick, but now he has slid down to the middle of the first round by many of the latest mock drafts.
First reading about the news about Lotulelei and his heart condition it immediately came to mind that he could have some form of cardiomyopathy. This is something familar to myself since my wife has pregnancy induced cardiomyopathy, and symptoms are similar. To be clear, I am not saying that is what Lotulelei has, but it is very similar to cardiomyopathy, with the information we have so far.
The Ejection Fraction is how much oxygen gets to the heart, and the lower the number means that much harder the heart has to work.
Typically, with a low number it makes it harder to perform physical activites, so seeing what Lotulelei has done over the past two season at Utah is possibly encouraging to his long term health, plus his NFL future.
Had his heart issue been affecting him, stamiana would have been affected and Lotulelei's stats would not have been what they were for the past few seasons. That leads me to believe that this heart issue has not effected him over the past few years.
Typically with a lower Ejection Fraction the outcome is that it either it gets better, worse or stays the same. It is also likely that Lotulelei has had this heart issue for some time, but has never had, or needed, a test to look at his heart until the combine.
Lotulelei is hoping to be able to participate in Utah's pro day on March 20.