It has been eight weeks since UFC heavyweight Stefan Struve was diagnosed with a leaking aortic valve, as well as an enlarged heart, and began taking medication to see if the condition could be improved without surgery.
“So the news is that my heart has decreased in size and because of that the aortic valve leakage has gone from medium severe to minimal!” Struve wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
It’s a positive turn of events for Struve, especially considering that the condition threatened to end his fighting career.
Struve’s manager, Lex McMahon, provided further details on his client’s condition in a statement to MMAFighting.com. He said that because the heart, while reduced in size, is still enlarged, they have diagnosed Struve’s condition as “Athletic Heart Syndrome,” which is common among athletes that undergo a strict training regimen.
“Stefan's doctors have cleared him to return to training so they can evaluate how he responds over the next several months,” McMahon said in his statement.
“At this time the doctors are suggesting that he continue with the medicine and do not recommend surgery. The general prognosis for Stefan's health is very positive. Stefan is focused on returning to the Octagon as soon as he can do so safely.”
Struve (25-6) has been fighting in the UFC heavyweight division since early 2009. He is 9-4 under the UFC banner, winning numerous post-fight bonuses along the way.
Struve last fought in March, losing via knockout to Mark Hunt.