Crews cleared to return

Sophomore forward Duke Crews, who has been held out of action since Dec. 14, has been cleared by the University of Tennessee Sports Medicine staff to return to competition.

"Since identifying a concern for a heart condition, Duke has undergone rest, careful monitoring and more than a half dozen cardiac tests," team physician Dr. Chris Klenck said. "These tests have been evaluated by respected cardiologists throughout the nation with extensive experience caring for professional and collegiate athletes. Based on their recommendations, Duke's condition is compatible to a return to competition. We will continue to monitor Duke closely, as we do with all of our student-athletes."

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.

"More than anything, we are pleased that Duke is able to return," head coach Bruce Pearl said. "We will try to get him up to speed as quickly as possible while keeping in mind that he has had no activity for more than a month."

After being slowed early in the season by an ankle injury, Crews had earned a spot in the starting lineup for each of the Vols' two games prior to being held out of competition. 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 is averaging 6.5 points and 4.6 rebounds in eight games on the season.

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