Mannelly missed Dukes 1996 football
season, and hes not even sure why.
Neither are some of the best minds in
medicine at Duke Universitys Medical
Mannelly, a senior offensive tackle with
the Blue Devils, sat out last season with
a mysterious hip ailment, the cause of
which has stumped Duke doctors to this
day. Hes now back in uniform after
enduring a frustrating and often painful
year away from the field.
kind of surprising. Youve got all
these great minds who have been around
medicine and they lean back in the chair
and say, I dont know what
it is, Mannelly told members
of the 1997 Atlantic Coast Conference
Football Tour this week.
things were expected of the 6-foot-5,
285-pounder entering 96. Hed
been named to the preseason All-ACC team
chosen by College Sports after starting
all 11 games at offensive guard the previous
as preseason practice drew near, the pain
started in Mannellys hip. He eventually
missed all of preseason practice, but
returned in time to start the opener against
Army. But after a quarter-and-a-half,
the pain became so severe he had to come
would be months before Mannelly would
be allowed onto a football field again.
couldnt do anything, Mannelly
said. Some days Id wake up
and it would be OK. Then, 20 minutes later
Id be walking and it would lock
up and start hurting me. It would last
anywhere from five minutes to the rest
of the day. It was so frustrating because
it would come and go.
Duke struggled through an 0-11 season,
Mannelly endured a battery of medical
tests and procedures as doctors searched
for the cause of his pain.
isolated the location of the pain in Mannellys
hip, but they never made a diagnosis about
the cause. They eventually considered
exploratory surgery, an idea that didnt
sit well with Mannelly.
would have had to detach my hip and go
in there and do a lot of serious moving
around, Mannelly said. That
could have been career ending, so that
was the scariest part.
The doctors eventually decided on a simpler
method of treatment.
Just rest, pure rest, Mannelly
said. And always ice. Theyd
throw ice on it. But rest was the big
also treated the area on two occasions
with various inflammation medicines, using
a six-inch syringe to inject the drugs.
second time that procedure was used came
right before Thanksgiving. Mannelly went
home to Marietta, Ga., during the holiday
break and stayed off his feet for five
pain mysteriously subsided and hasnt
was finally able to resume working out
on a limited basis in late February.
put me into it real slowly because they
were kind of scared if it came back they
wouldnt know what to do, Mannelly
ailment is still a source of concern for
the Duke medical staff, according Mannelly.
Football trainer Hap Zarzour and the teams
orthopedic surgeon Dr. Kevin Speer keep
a constant check on Mannellys condition.
day Hap, our trainer, calls up Dr. Speer
on the little phone during practice to
check in, Mannelly said. The
other day Dr. Speer asked if there had
been any injuries in practice. Hap was
just going through telling him about this
or that players injury.
had a slight hamstring pull, so Hap said
my name. Dr. Speer told him, Dont
tell me the H word.
Hap said, Does hamstring count as
the H word? I think
Dr. Speer was relieved to hear it was
hamstring and not hip.
coach Fred Goldsmith is also relieved
to have Mannelly back on the offensive
Mannelly is a good athlete and he plays
with football savvy, which means an awful
lot, Goldsmith said. Having
him back also means we dont have
to go with a younger guy at that position.
So Mannelly is a difference maker in that
offensive line bunch.