What began as a simple sinus infection has turned into an extremely rare, deadly fungal infection that will most likely force UCLA defensive back Marcus Rios to miss the entirety of the 2013 season, according to The LA Times.
Rios was listed as a first-team cornerback on the Bruins’ depth chart as he prepared for his sophomore season on campus. However, he has already undergone six surgeries to try to stop the infection and is going to need at least one more in the next two weeks.
“It started as a sinus infection last October,” Rios said. “Then they found the fungus infection behind my eye and beneath my brain.”
Rios said that “it’s very rare. Only 12 people have ever had it and eight of them have died. Two others recovered and then died later.”
Rios spent much of the off-season in and out of hospitals. He is currently taking antibiotics through a peripherally inserted central catheter, or PICC, line in his arm.
Rios, who played at Elk Grove Oaks High, entered spring practice on top of the depth chart at one cornerback spot.
“I can’t do any running because of the PICC line,” Rios said. “Now they need me to do another surgery.
Coach Jim Mora said Rios “will be out six months.” Rios said, “I’m probably out for the season.”
Rios’ situation is not one that anybody would wish upon a teenager. Instead of enjoying his college years and his time as an elite Division I athlete, Rios is instead fearful for his life.
Everyone here at Gamedayr is hoping for a swift and full recovery for Rios.