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McBride has blood clot removed from armpit, could be sidelined 3-6 months.

By Robert Wagman

(Thursday, October 5, 2000) -- Columbus Crew striker Brian McBride is resting comfortably after a surgical procedure last week to remove a blood clot in the large vein that runs through his right armpit.

He was injured while on loan to English first division team Preston North End. According to Preston trainer Mick Rathbone, McBride was kicked under his arm in Preston's Worthington Cup clash with Coventry. Then he received another blow in almost the same spot a week later in Preston's 3-1 win over Sheffield September 27.

At first, it was thought the injury was just a painful bruise, but when it began to swell, a closer examination revealing a blood clot under armpit.

He flew back to Columbus where doctors reportedly removed the clot in an semi-surgical procedure not unlike angioplasty, where they entered the vein where the clot was located and removed it with a scoop-like device.

Officially, neither the Crew, nor the United States Soccer Federation has issued a statement, but medical experts said the injury was potentially life-threatening because the clot could have broken lose and traveled to the heart.

The clot likely occurred because the vein was damaged by the trauma from the blow, causing a blockage which allowed the clot to form. In such situations, someone suffering a clotting episode is kept on powerful anti-coagulant drugs that thin the blood and prevent new clotting.

While McBride is using the anti-coagulant, he can not engage in any physical activity with the possibility of even minimal trauma because of the great danger of serious hemorrhage.

Preston says McBride will be on the drugs for at least three months. The standard medical therapy could require medication for up to six months.

Preston North End boss David Moyes said he still hopes to have McBride back at Deepdale before he has to return to the Crew for the new MLS season, which begins in early April.

"We are hoping to have Brian back as quickly as possible, but we will have to wait and see," Moyes said.

Senior correspondent Robert Wagman can be e-mailed at wagman@soccertimes.com.

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