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Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Stomach ache: Lesnar's online diagnosis

Brock Lesnar
Will we see Brock Lesnar in the Octagon again? Almost certainly, but why try speculating?

As of the middle of this week, Brock Lesnar's health remains vaguely defined. We only know that he would prefer we not be discussing it. That's according to UFC president Dana White, who then proceeded to do exactly that in Manchester last Saturday at UFC 105, citing that Lesnar was very ill and may not fight again -- a condition downgraded in severity when Lesnar's trainer, Greg Nelson, said Lesnar would be returning home soon.

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"Major" surgery, in White's vernacular, became "minor" surgery early this week. Aside from a definitive diagnosis of mononucleosis, Lesnar clearly has one (or more) other things ailing him, including a vague bacterial infection in his intestinal tract. He has since returned home to Minnesota to convalesce.

Whatever is attributable for Lesnar's collapse, the time and energy spent speculating whether or not it will end his career is a waste. A car helped crumple Frank Mir's leg; serious staph infections have eaten holes in the flesh of many fighters; Ken Shamrock, as his legend is quick to remind you, once broke his neck. They all came back to fight. Athletes, in particular, have a tendency to resist doctor proclamations that they will never compete again. Chalk it up to either incredible physical constitutions or incredible egos. Lesnar has no shortage of either.

There's something truly bizarre about the roundtable Internet discussion about his symptoms and piecemeal suppositions: Lesnar has diverticulitis; no, it's a bacterial infection; no, a tapeworm; no, he's just gassy. It's like a satellite gathering of a doctoral think tank in which no one has doctorates, medical records or the patient's cooperation. I doubt that anyone -- including Lesnar himself -- has any idea how his career will be affected. So what's the point in dialoguing it to death?