The MLS veteran and former U.S. international announced his retirement from the game in a Twitter post back on April 20. It wasn’t aging legs or a decline in ability that ended his career, but rather a heart defect that despite being corrected by surgery, resulted in him not being cleared to play.
“It’s not really the way I wanted to go out after being in the league for 13 years, but I guess my hand was kind of forced,” said Wynne via telephone. “I didn’t really have an option, to be honest.”
Before the start of the 2017 season, Wynne signed a new two-year deal with the San Jose Earthquakes that would have earned him $257,000 a year. But during the preseason physical, Wynne was diagnosed with an enlarged aortic root, the section of the aorta closest to and attached to the heart, consisting of the aortic valve and the openings for the coronary arteries. The typical diameter of an aortic root is 2 to 3 centimeters, while Wynne’s was between 4.4 and 4.8 centimeters. Surgery is usually recommended only if the diameter exceeds 5 centimeters, but Wynne was told by his doctors that the rigors of playing professional soccer necessitated having surgery if he wanted to continue playing.cheap official nike nfl jerseys
Wynne opted for surgery, a nine-hour operation that took place on March 24, 2017, at Stanford Medical Center. Wynne recalled that the surgeon, Dr. Craig Miller, discovered in the operation that the walls of Wynne’s aortic root were thinner than normal, like a water balloon filled with too much water.
“I was actually at high risk for a rupture because they couldn’t tell the actual thickness of my aorta,” said Wynne.
Wynne is not the first professional athlete Dr. Miller has operated on. In 2005, Dr. Miller performed a similar operation on now-former NBA player Ronny Turiaf. Turiaf not only recovered, but he went on to play eight seasons in the NBA. Granted, the sports are different, but both involved a certain level of physicality as well as aerobic intensity. Dr. Miller also performed a similar operation on an F-18 Navy fighter pilot who was able to regain his flight status in spite of sustaining considerable G-forces on his chest.nfl nike jerseys cheap china
The surgery was a success, but Wynne’s future as a professional soccer player was still unclear. His agent and the MLS Players Association asked that Wynne’s future be assessed post-surgery, and the league agreed. In the interim, MLS continued paying Wynne, although it was under no obligation to do so, considering he officially failed the entrance physical.
Wynne was keen to get back on the field as soon as possible, and he was cleared by both Dr. Miller and his cardiologist, Dr. David Liang, to begin ramping up his workouts.
To that end, Wynne was seen by MLS’ cardiologist, Dr. Matthew Martinez, in mid-June. In an undated letter obtained by ESPN FC that Dr. Martinez sent to Wynne, he indicated that Wynne “was doing well at that time and his CT indicated the repair of his ascending aorta was stable without complications.”