Houston Texans running back Arian Foster was reportedly prepared to have heart surgery to fix a problem with his irregular heartbeat, but those reports may have disputed by Foster himself.
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 1 at 1:25 p.m. ET by Ethan Grant
Foster has released an statement through the Texans' official website, seemingly putting this rumor behind him and calming down his fans for the time being:
“Thank you all for the concern. As of now, I have no complications with my blood pumper. There was a casual conversation with a reporter about my particular condition that turned public. But I have not, nor do I plan to anytime in the near future, have conversations with my doctors about any surgery. I am feeling well and am as exuberant as ever. Love and light to all those concerned!”
---End of update---
UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 1, at 10:05 a.m. ET by Ethan Grant
According to Paul Pabst from the "Dan Patrick Show", Foster is rebuking claims that he's going to go under the knife:
Arian Foster on his irregular heartbeat issues.."I haven't seen a doctor about it. I'm not getting surgery or a procedure" @dpshow— Paul Pabst (@PaulPabst) February 1, 2013
Mark Berman from Fox Sports in Houston added two tweets to support Foster's assertion that he won't need any more outside medical attention. Here's the first:
Texans GM Rick Smith on Arian Foster's situation. "Our medical team continues to monitor it. He missed 1/2 of a practice & 1/2 of a game....— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 1, 2013
More Rick Smith on Arian Foster: "and the doctors treated him. We're comfortable with where he is."— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) February 1, 2013
It's an interesting development in the story, and we'll continue to update you as more information readies itself.
---End of update---
NFL Network's Alex Flanagan first reported that Foster would be having surgery to correct the malady:
Arian Foster will likely undergo a heart procedure in a month.alexflanagan.com/blog— Alex Flanagan (@Alex_Flanagan) February 1, 2013
The procedure is called a heart ablation, per Flanagan. Meant to fix the electrical pathways that cause heart arrhythmias, it can either be done through an invasive open-heart surgery or via catheters, as the Mayo Clinic explains.
While it's unknown which route Foster will take (catheters are the more common), it became clear that something needed to be done during the 2012 season.
After suffering an irregular heartbeat, Foster was pulled early from the Texans' Week 16 loss against the Minnesota Vikings. Though the issue did not force Foster to miss any additional time during the regular season or playoffs, Foster informed Flanagan that he's had an irregular heartbeat that has cropped up sporadically since he was 12 years old.
Though he's had eight separate incidents since the first, Foster claims that this season was the first time it had ever happened in-game.
Regardless, Foster's play hasn't been affected by his condition. The Pro Bowler rushed for 1,424 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2012 while helping lead the Texans to their second straight AFC South crown. Foster has rushed for at least 1,200 yards and scored at least 10 touchdowns in three straight seasons.
If Foster undergoes the procedure within a month, as planned, it stands to reason that he should be able to return in time for the 2013 season barring any complications.