Noble Trying To Recover From Newest Infection

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Washington Redskins defensive lineman Brandon Noble, who did not play this season and was placed on injured reserve in September, is trying to recover from an infection that has recurred in his surgically repaired knee.

Noble is again on crutches after another surgery and is back on a regimen of antibiotics. Noble, 31, is all but certain his playing career is over, and is trying to avoid more surgery after this latest infection is treated.

Noble, who overcame career-threatening reconstructive knee surgery to play the 2004 season, contracted a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection from having his knee drained repeatedly, and fears he may have another now.

MRSA infections are resistant to many antibiotics, and one of Noble's current medications also causes stomach problems. His weight has dropped to 265 from 299 -- "I haven't been this small since college," he said -- and said his leg muscles have atrophied from extended time in wheelchairs and on crutches. He has been unable to travel with the team and unable to help his wife care for their three children, including a newborn. "I'm pretty much stuck on the couch," he said.

The Redskins approached Noble about a job in scouting or coaching when he retires, but Noble said he might need a respite from football before pursuing his interest in coaching. "I think I might need some time away from the game first," he said.

-- Jason La Canfora

© 2006 The Washington Post Company