Archive for Thursday, September 28, 2000

Szott fears career finished

Chiefs’ veteran guard faces long rehabilitation following latest biceps injury

September 28, 2000


— The career of Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl guard Dave Szott could be over after his second serious arm injury.

Szott suffered torn biceps in his right arm in the season opener against Indianapolis Sept. 3. The injury at first was thought to be relatively minor, but now is said to be identical to the torn biceps injury he suffered in his left arm last year that kept him out of the entire season.

"It's a possibility," the 32-year-old Szott said of retiring. "That's something my wife and I will sit down and talk about. To say we haven't discussed it ... of course, we have."

Szott, scheduled to make $1.8 million as a 10-year starter at left guard for the Chiefs, will be in a brace for eight weeks as part of a rehabilitation program that will take three to four months.

"I think I got my hand caught up in a facemask," Szott said. "You can see his head torque to the side. I don't know if my thumb got caught or something. It popped and that was that.

"I was more in shock than anything," Szott said after he was injured on the second play of the game. "I knew enough about the injury to kind of know just what happened. I was praying it wasn't the case, but I could almost diagnose it myself."

Szott underwent surgery Sept. 19 in Birmingham, Ala. The operation was performed by Dr. James Andrews, who had done the operation last year on his left arm.

"I've talked to many people, and there's really no explanation why I do these things," Szott said. "There are a number of athletes Dr. Andrews said he had repaired both arms, and they're back at their occupations. It happens a lot in weightlifters.

"Where I seem to tear them is in the elbow. A lot of people tear them in the shoulder, and it's a lot easier surgery, a lot easier rehab. I seem to tear them in a bad area, and it's a lot longer rehab and a lot more involved surgery."

The latest injury may prove to be a disappointing end to the career of Szott, named All Pro by the Associated Press in 1997 and a player who teamed with center Tim Grunhard and right guard Will Shields to form one of the best interior line combinations in the NFL.

Szott, well-liked in the clubhouse for his personable attitude and work ethic, had a difficult off-season in which he first asked to be traded to an East Coast team and then considered retirement. His son, Shane, has cerebral palsy and Szott wanted to move home to New Jersey so the boy could attend a special school.

He also suffered a threatening situation in which a blood clot traveled through his heart, keeping him out of much of the preseason practices.

The Chiefs, who wanted to keep him anyway, were unable to trade him. A special arrangement was worked out in which Szott was to be excused on Monday and Tuesday so he could fly home to Morristown, N.J.

"I was really excited about finishing this year out and enjoying every week," said Szott, who is in the final year of his contract.

"I was having a great time, and I was playing well, and I loved being back. Some things in life you just don't know if you'll ever understand."

Commenting has been disabled for this item.