Crews has heart condition

Sophomore forward Duke Crews will be held out of all practice and competition due to a medical condition that has been identified by the University of Tennessee Sports Medicine staff.

"Based on a screening echocardiogram issued to each student-athlete, a heart condition was identified for Duke Crews," team physician Dr. Chris Klenck said. "Further testing confirmed the result which will preclude Duke from competing at this time. He will continue to undergo treatment, monitoring and further testing. He will return to competition as soon as his condition allows."

Duke Crews' condition was identified by an echocardiogram that the University of Tennessee provides to all of its student-athletes. UT partnered with Digirad Ultrascan Solutions this year to provide more than 500 free echocardiograms to student-athletes. The echocardiogram provides cardiologists with a 3D image of the heart to help identify any potential problems.

"It is very fortunate that this condition was identified before a potentially life-changing problem occurred," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "This is the reason that we have all of our student-athletes undergo testing like this. Based on tests so far, we are optimistic about his chance to return."

After being slowed early in the season by an ankle injury, Crews had earned a spot in the starting lineup for each of the No. 12 Vols' last two games. In his first start of the season, against Louisiana-Lafayette, the 6-foot-7 Crews had 10 points and nine rebounds, including five offensive rebounds. The Hampton, Va., native was averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds on the season.

Crews will not be available for comment and the university asks that his privacy in this matter is respected.

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