“Stefan Struve recently had a follow-up visit with his doctors to determine the efficacy of the treatment protocol he had been prescribed.
During his visit, the doctors informed Stefan that the leakage back into his heart has been greatly reduced.
Additionally, his heart is not as enlarged as it was, but since it is still enlarged, they are attributing it to a condition called ‘Sport Heart’ or ‘Athletic Heart Syndrome,’ which is fairly common in athletes who train rigorously for more than one hour per day and is generally considered benign.
Stefan’s doctors have cleared him to return to training so they can evaluate how he responds over the next several months.
No word on what these doctors will have to say for Struve to be considered fighting fit for the UFC. It could be any sort of known heart issue like this – he has two cusps going into his aortic valve instead of three – is an instant disqualifier from getting sanctioned in combat sports. Simply ‘attributing’ his enlarged heart to the fairly common Athletic Heart Syndrome also sounds overly positive.
Believing everything coming out of a fighter’s camp regarding recovery can be difficult when you know how insistent they are that they will return by hell or high water. Every positive sign is magnified 100 times while any medical opinion he cannot fight again will be dismissed as naysaying. We’ve just witnessed Michael Bisping nearly going blind while trying to convince the UFC he could still fight in Manchester. Fighters aren’t always the best arbitrators of what’s best for their long term health.