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Old 02-15-2008, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

A tough road for Clark
Friday, February 15, 2008
By Teresa Varley
Steelers.com



Football players are used to injuries being a part of the game, but not in his wildest dreams did safety Ryan Clark think the 2007 season would end the way that it did for him.



Clark suffered an inflamed spleen following the Steelers-Broncos game in Denver, the result of a pre-existing blood condition where the high mountain altitude combined with dehydration caused the inflammation.



The normally upbeat, fun-loving Clark was a far cry from what everyone was used to. He would walk through the hallways at the team?s practice facility looking thin and withdrawn. He was quiet, losing weight and lacked the energy that he always had.



?Some days I didn?t know if I was going to make it,? said Clark. ?I would be down about it, just thinking how hard it would be to come back and how hard I worked to get into that shape for the season. What it took six or seven months to gain I lost in two weeks.



?It?s amazing. It lets you know it?s out of your hands. It?s up to God. What?s going to be is going to be. It?s a long way to go. To be able to get up in the morning and eat, and run around with the kids, it?s a blessing. I?m doing well.?



He was placed on injured reserve after he had surgery to remove the spleen, and that was followed weeks later by surgery to remove his gallbladder.



?They wanted to take the gallbladder out with the first surgery, but they weren?t able to,? said Clark, who has the sickle cell gene. ?I was having problems still with what I was eating and having pain, and it turned out I had gall stones.?



The physical effects were tough on Clark, but it was more than just that. The emotional effects were just as trying and wore on him as time went on.



?The emotion comes a long way after,? said Clark. ?Before the surgery I never thought it was over because the doctor kept telling me it wasn?t. Once I had the surgery I knew I was done for the year, but the doctors were optimistic telling me I would be back.



?You get angry. The first emotion was that you did all of this work to get to this point and it?s gone in a week. You get angry about that. Once you get really sick you stop thinking about football. You start just thinking about your family. I got over the football thing until I was healthy enough to move around and go to games. I just knew I had to be here for family, my wife and kids.?



Clark lost between 25 and 30 pounds during the ordeal, dropping 10 pounds in the first week and dipping down to about 175 pounds. He is putting the weight back on now, up to around 190, and has a unique way of measuring how far he has come.



?What I would do is at night when everyone was sleeping I would try on one of my game day suits,? said Clark. ?At first it was horrible. My pants would hardly stay on. I would do it once a week and as time went on they started to feel better. They don?t fit perfect yet, but at least I can keep them up now. It was weird at first.?



Check Steelers.com in the next few weeks for more on Clark?s progress.
http://news.steelers.com/article/87140/

Wow........if Ryan Clark comes back next year at his previous level, it will truely be a miracle. He's a very lucky young man to be alive today. I predict he'll work like a fiend and become the "comeback story of the year"!
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:20 AM   #2
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

The weight gain is good news. I wonder how much he is able to work out at this point?
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

Thanks for the great read on Ryan Clark.

It sounds like he is on the right track towards getting his life back and that is very refreshing to hear, as he's been through a helluva lot in such a short period of time. I'd love nothing more than to see him at camp on that field busting his butt as he always does.

Keep up the hard work, Ryan - we Steelers fans are behind you all the way!
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Old 02-15-2008, 08:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

In the meantime we need to make plans to bring in another FS. I don't have much faith in Anthony Smith in any area other than "hitting". He's way too undisciplined. I could see us drafting, or even signing another free agent. You just can't count on Clark to come back full strength. It's too much of a gamble....
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Old 02-15-2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

I pray Ryan' health is restored first and foremost....the ability to play football after that is just icing on the cake.

All the best to you, Ryan....the Steeler Nation is behind ya!
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:13 AM   #6
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

If he comes back and plays at a high level, he deserves Comeback Player of the Year.

But it will probally go to Tom Brady for coming back so well from that Super Bowl loss to lead the Pats to another AFCE title.
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Old 02-15-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoethlisBURGHer View Post
If he comes back and plays at a high level, he deserves Comeback Player of the Year.

But it will probally go to Tom Brady for coming back so well from that Super Bowl loss to lead the Pats to another AFCE title.
Blasphemy!!!

He'll lead the Pats to another playoff loss to Denver !!!!
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Old 02-15-2008, 12:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

I just pointing out, to Pats fans especially, that Brady and Bill B have a horrible record against the Broncos. Of all the teams in the NFL, the Broncos are truly their Nemisis.
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Old 02-15-2008, 04:43 PM   #9
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

im lovin this read... i first of all LOVE ryan clark for his abilities as a football player... he's not the fastest or the strongest or the with the best skillz... he just gets the job done very solidly...

anyway did anyone see his suit that he was wearing??? my gosh it was amazing! he wore it very nicely! (it was on steelers.com)
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Old 02-15-2008, 06:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: A Tough Road for Ryan Clark

I like Clark's headiness. He's a film buff, and it shows on the field. He's rarely undisciplined or out of position or playing out of control.

However, Troy suffered from all those symptoms in his first year starting, and he got a LOT better in his next season. I'm not willing to totally toss Smith under the bus just yet. I'd prefer the team to have both players healthy and competing come camp.
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