'A reminder' in D.J. Hayden's recovery

May, 28, 2013
5/28/13
6:20
PM ET
The Oakland Raiders received a scare with first-round pick D.J. Hayden.

The team said he is in a local hospital getting tests for abdominal issue and will not be ready until training camp starts in late July. He will miss the rest of the offseason workout program and mandatory minicamp.

Hayden
Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters Tuesday that it is too early to tell if the issue is related to the heart injury he had last November. “We can’t rule that out,” Allen said. “Right now, I don’t know the correlation to it, but we don’t anticipate it being an issue.”

The cornerback from Houston, who the Raiders took with the No. 12 overall pick in last month’s draft, severed his inferior vena cava after a violent collision in practice last November. It is an injury that usually occurs in automobile accidents. It has a 95 percent fatality rate. ESPN chronicled his emotional recovery in this video.

After Allen made his comments, the team said that Hayden had surgery to clear scar tissue. It is believed to be precautionary and there have been reports that he has not had a setback in his ultimate recovery. Hayden started to feel symptoms last week in practice.

I reached out to ESPN medical expert Stephania Bell to discuss that Hayden is having a problem so soon after returning to the practice field.

“It is absolutely related to the heart surgery. There wouldn’t be any scar tissue if there wasn’t a surgery,” Bell said. “But they can be very comfortable that it doesn't have anything to do with the heart itself or the vein that was operated on ... It's not totally unsurprising. There are uncertainties about this process and this one of this. It’s a reminder that it’s a process on the road of the recovery with multiple variables going on. There are potentially bumps on the way and this is one of them. It is a setback, but it may not be a a compleltley worrisome one. If we have some more issues down the road it could will be more worrisome, but this could be just a blip on the road to recovery.”

These post-draft workout non-contact workouts are Hayden’s first team-football drills since his surgery.

The team is confident he will be fine and this is simply a minor setback. When Oakland drafted Hayden, general manager Reggie McKenzie said he had no worries about Hayden’s health history. Some around the league thought taking Hayden at No. 12 was a bit of reach and some teams were worried about his health.

The Raiders, who have not signed any of their draft picks, have big hopes for the talented Hayden. He is expected to be an instant starter. While this issue is worrisome, hopefully, the surgery is simply a minor step in a wonderful recovery.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN Oakland Raiders reporter

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