George Mason senior Eduardo Lima, who led the Patriots' men's soccer team in scoring each of the past three seasons, will undergo surgery Tuesday for a heart ailment, school officials said yesterday. Depending on the success of the procedure and Lima's recovery, he likely will miss the first two weeks of the season.
According to Frank Pettrone, the team physician, Lima has an arrhythmia, or irregularity, in his heartbeat. Doctors at Fairfax Hospital will perform an outpatient procedure known as cardiac ablation to correct the problem. Pettrone said the procedure involves the insertion of a catheter through the blood vessels to the heart, where the arrhythmia can be corrected.
"The doctors should be able to test the heart right there during the surgery and in about a week afterward they will challenge it again with a stress test," Pettrone said. "If the arrhythmia does not recur he should be able to return to playing."
Lima, who moved from Brazil in 1996 to attend George Mason, had 12 goals and four assists last season and was named to the all-Colonial Athletic Association first team. In his first two seasons at George Mason, Lima totaled 23 goals and 16 assists. He is fifth on the Patriots' all-time points list with 90. He needs 27 points to tie Colin Kerr, the program's most prolific scorer, who finished in 1983.
Lima declined to comment.
"Eduardo is a very upbeat person, a very charismatic person and knowing about this procedure has not changed him a bit," said Coach Gordon Bradley. "He is still our team captain and the feeling among all of us is that he is in the doctor's hands, but he will come through this and he will be back with us as soon as he can."