Maresh finally gets some good news

Minnesota football recruit Sam Maresh was due for some good news. On Saturday, Feb. 21, it finally came. The lump found recently on his left calf isnâÄôt cancer or a cluster of blood vessels âÄì instead, an ultra-sound biopsy indicated that itâÄôs simply âÄúa dense tissue of no significanceâĦscar tissue,âÄù SamâÄôs father Bill posted on the familyâÄôs page at caringbridge.org . When the lump was discovered just over two weeks ago, MareshâÄôs football future âÄì and future in general âÄì became unclear for the second time in less than a year. Maresh verbally committed to the Gophers in April 2007, during his junior year of high school, marking the first major recruit head coach Tim Brewster had brought to the program. As a standout linebacker at Champlin Park High School, Maresh attracted interest from other Big Ten programs such as Iowa and Wisconsin , but he chose to stay in his native Minnesota. He was expected to compete for playing time as a true freshman when he arrived for summer workouts in June of 2008, but shortly thereafter, team doctors discovered a heart murmur that, after further testing, revealed a congenital heart defect requiring a tissue aortic valve replacement. He underwent open heart surgery on June 26, 2008 , not knowing whether heâÄôd ever return to the football field as a player. But it wasnâÄôt long before it became clear that Maresh would be back, perhaps much sooner than anyone expected. By September, Maresh wrote on caringbridge.org that he was already cleared by doctors to resume heavy lifting and running. According to the post, the doctor told Maresh that had he underwent surgery a month earlier than he did, he could have possibly been back on the field for MinnesotaâÄôs 2008 season. His career may have been put on hold for a year, but things were looking up. In December, doctors cleared Maresh to play football again, he was enrolled in classes at the University for the spring semester, and he was expected to join the Gophers for spring practices. But the young man, who managed to stay optimistic throughout the sixth month ordeal, received another blow earlier this month. MareshâÄôs father Bill reported on caringbridge.org on February 17, 2009 that doctors at the Mayo Clinic had found a lump in SamâÄôs left calf. MareshâÄôs college football dreams appeared as though they might indefinitely be on hold once again. On Saturday, however, Bill Maresh posted that the biopsy revealed the lump was not a âÄúnerve tumorâÄù or âÄúhemangiomaâÄù (abnormal buildup of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs) as the doctors believed it might be. Instead it was scar tissue that should be easily removed. Bill told the Star Tribune that recovery time from the procedure is typically six weeks. âÄúSo he’ll probably miss spring ball, but who knows?âÄù he said. âÄúI’m sure the Gophers aren’t going to press the issue. But if I know Sam, if they say six weeks he’ll try to say three. By four weeks they’ll have to strap him down.âÄù