Kendall Simmons diagnosed with diabetes

There was plenty of optimistic talk from the Pittsburgh Steelers on their reporting date for training camp, but director of operations Kevin Colbert ended the day with some bad news. Steelers right guard Kendall Simmons will miss practice time because of a diabetic condition. <br><br> Here's the transcript of Colbert's late-day press conference:

Kevin Colbert: Everybody's here except for Troy Polamalu, who's obviously unsigned, and Kendall Simmons. Kendall has developed a diabetic condition. He was diagnosed, I believe, either [Tuesday] or [Wednesday]. He was hospitalized for awhile. He is at home. The doctors and trainers are working with him. They believe they have the condition workable right now. He lost some weight; he lost some strength. I think he's completed the tests but he's going to go through a series of getting the sugar under control and then working his way back -- getting his weight back and getting his strength back -- and he will be worked back into the training camp regimen. We're not sure about the time period, maybe a week, maybe two. They just have to monitor his weight and how the sugar levels are before he will go back into full speed work.

Media: Did this happen recently?
Yeah. It's a situation - and I don't know the exact term - but it's a diabetic condition in which the onset is just immediate. He was experiencing weight loss, frequent urination. He brought it to the doctor's attention and Dr. [Anthony] Yates diagnosed him right away. I guess he was losing weight over the summer and it was a quick weight loss. It was a quick onset. And I guess there's a family history.

M: How much weight?
I'm not really sure. It was significant enough that he realized something was not right. And that's why he asked to see the doctor, and Dr. Yates right away put the pieces together and found out he was diabetic.

M: Was it discovered after the elbow surgery?
He wasn't aware of it when he left. Between the time he left and the time he came home he just started losing a lot of weight and he kind of felt something wasn't right.

M: How sure are you he'll be your right guard?
We're not worried about any long-term effects. Obviously diabetes is a very serious situation and we'll be very careful with it, but there are a lot of people who function with it every day, including athletes. We're confident that once he gets his weight back up and he gets his medication under control he'll be fine. We don't anticipate this being a long-term problem at all.

M: How about short-term?
Depending on how quickly he gets the weight back and they figure out the medication, it'll be a gradual thing, so we don't know at this point, but we're not worried it'll extend into the season or anything like that. He'll be back in training camp unless there's another setback, which we don't anticipate.

M: Is he in the hospital now?
No, I think he's actually at home now.

M: Is Troy in town?
You know how it is with No. 1 picks. First day of camp, he's not here. There's no reason to talk about it. Negotiations are ongoing. Who knows where he is. We'll deal with the people who are here.

M: Were there any other signings today among first-round picks?
We really don't get too concerned with what's going on around us. It's an individual thing for us. Us and the player have to figure it out. It's always a process. It always takes time. We're really not influenced by what anyone else will or will not sign, so we really don't pay too much attention. I think Chicago did get their player (Michael Haynes) signed. I don't know of anybody else in our immediate range.

M: Are you close?
You never know. As long as you're talking there's a chance and they've been talking. The communication's good. It just takes a little bit of time.

M: Who's going to start at right guard in Sunday's drills?
I have no idea. I'm guessing it would be Keydrick Vincent. He's been in the rotation.

M: Was Kendall's elbow surgery a success?
Oh yeah. There were no other problems medically that we were concerned about. The elbow surgery went well. Again, we cannot underestimate the seriousness of this condition. It's also something that once under control people function very normally. We're happy it didn't happen during training camp or in the season. You never know, in the heat problems develop and it could've been much worse.

Jim Wexell

Steel City Insider Top Stories