View Full Version : A tough road for Clark..**Update 3/4/08

02-16-2008, 06:55 PM
Football players are used to injuries being a part of the game, but not in his wildest dreams did safety Ryan Clark think the 2007 season would end the way that it did for him.

Clark suffered an inflamed spleen following the Steelers-Broncos game in Denver, the result of a pre-existing blood condition where the high mountain altitude combined with dehydration caused the inflammation.

The normally upbeat, fun-loving Clark was a far cry from what everyone was used to. He would walk through the hallways at the team’s practice facility looking thin and withdrawn. He was quiet, losing weight and lacked the energy that he always had. “Some days I didn’t know if I was going to make it,” said Clark. “I would be down about it, just thinking how hard it would be to come back and how hard I worked to get into that shape for the season. What it took six or seven months to gain I lost in two weeks.
“It’s amazing. It lets you know it’s out of your hands. It’s up to God. What’s going to be is going to be. It’s a long way to go. To be able to get up in the morning and eat, and run around with the kids, it’s a blessing. I’m doing well.”

He was placed on injured reserve after he had surgery to remove the spleen, and that was followed weeks later by surgery to remove his gallbladder. “They wanted to take the gallbladder out with the first surgery, but they weren’t able to,” said Clark, who has the sickle cell gene. “I was having problems still with what I was eating and having pain, and it turned out I had gall stones.”

The physical effects were tough on Clark, but it was more than just that. The emotional effects were just as trying and wore on him as time went on.

“The emotion comes a long way after,” said Clark. “Before the surgery I never thought it was over because the doctor kept telling me it wasn’t. Once I had the surgery I knew I was done for the year, but the doctors were optimistic telling me I would be back.


“You get angry. The first emotion was that you did all of this work to get to this point and it’s gone in a week. You get angry about that. Once you get really sick you stop thinking about football. You start just thinking about your family. I got over the football thing until I was healthy enough to move around and go to games. I just knew I had to be here for family, my wife and kids.”

Clark lost between 25 and 30 pounds during the ordeal, dropping 10 pounds in the first week and dipping down to about 175 pounds. He is putting the weight back on now, up to around 190, and has a unique way of measuring how far he has come.

“What I would do is at night when everyone was sleeping I would try on one of my game day suits,” said Clark. “At first it was horrible. My pants would hardly stay on. I would do it once a week and as time went on they started to feel better. They don’t fit perfect yet, but at least I can keep them up now. It was weird at first.”

http://news.steelers.com/article/87140 (http://news.steelers.com/article/87140/)

By Teresa Varley
Friday, February 15, 2008I've been wondering about how Clark is doing. Sounds like he's getting better, just hope he makes a full recovery and will be 100% for the upcoming season. He is an important part of our secondary and the defense as a whole.
Get well Ryan.....:cope::cope::cope::cope::cope:

02-16-2008, 06:59 PM
Thanks for posting this up Tom I was wondering how he was doing too. I didn't realize he had lost so much weight but it definitely seems like he's dedicated to getting back in shape and looking to be ready for 2008. I hope he definitely makes a full recovery for himself and his family first and then football.

He's a smart, tough player that really picked up our defense quickly. If he is able to come back and be on the team in 2008 that will really help our secondary.

02-16-2008, 07:11 PM
this is unfortunate. it must be frustrating for him and his family. i hope he recovers as best as he can. :tt02:

black an gold 4 life
02-16-2008, 07:11 PM
yea i read that on the nfl.com steelers home page man i hope he recovers fully we need him 2 b an 100%

02-16-2008, 09:33 PM
this is unfortunate. it must be frustrating for him and his family. i hope he recovers as best as he can. :tt02:


02-17-2008, 07:38 PM
Man this is worse than I thought it was. Hope he returns.

02-19-2008, 10:44 AM
Although I hope he plays this season @ 100%. I really just hope he make the 100% recovery for him. We need to address the safety position anyway, we have crappy back ups

02-19-2008, 03:52 PM
If Clark comes back at full strength then we are ok at Safety and I don't see them taking one but if there is any doubt as to whether he'll be ready or not than they will have to do something in FA or the draft. Smith is going to be a good safety, maybe a great one, but he just has some growing up to do along the way.

02-19-2008, 07:43 PM
Although I really just hope he make the 100% recovery for him.
Definitely agree with that.....:yellowthumb:

03-04-2008, 01:15 PM
Safety Ryan Clark was at the facility working out. He said he feels fine and expects to play in 2008. He said his biggest problem now is his cholesterol because he also had his gall bladder removed. Asked whether he could go back and play in Denver again, he said the doctors said physically he should be fine, mentally might be a problem.

03-04-2008, 01:28 PM
Sounds like he should be ready to go, plus he's got all spring and summer to get back into shape to play. If he can fully recover then this is good news for us and means we won't have to look to this years draft for a backup safety since it's already a thin crop in that class anyways. I still wouldn't mind bringing in Eugene Wilson to push the starters in an all out competition in training camp though.

03-04-2008, 02:52 PM
Good news! Now lets get an Olinemen

03-04-2008, 06:54 PM
Great news! Will be good to have him back where he belongs!

Black@Gold Forever32
03-04-2008, 07:02 PM
Thats good news....Clark is a good and steady player....I really think we missed him when he was out of the lineup....

03-04-2008, 07:52 PM
Thats good news....Clark is a good and steady player....I really think we missed him when he was out of the lineup....

Yeah I think we all missed him more than we thought. I know I was figuring Smith would step right in and play well and pretty much take the job and make it his own by the end of 2007. Smith showed that he still has some growing up to do on the field and more work to do with his skills as well...plus even more it really diminished our depth and showed that Carter just didn't have it this year. If Clark comes back ok we'll be just fine, but if not this team will skating on thin ice at Safety.

03-05-2008, 09:51 AM
Thats good news....Clark is a good and steady player....I really think we missed him when he was out of the lineup....

Yeah definitely, I can't wait for him to come back. Hopefully he will be 100% like he thinks.

03-05-2008, 09:57 AM
Good news! Now lets get an Olinemen

I agree. We need to start fixing that O-line. Glad to hear Ryan is doing well and is feeling good.