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Dye May Lose Full Use Of Arm

Arizona Cardinals offensive guard Ernest Dye has regained some nerve function in his right arm that was mangled in a rollover accident, doctors said Wednesday.

However, physicians were unsure whether Dye will ever regain full use of his arm because of the extreme nature of the injury, which likely has ended his NFL career.

Dye's arm was nearly severed in the Aug. 16 crash about 25 miles south of Flagstaff, where the Cardinals hold training camp.

A teammate was driving Dye's luxury car during a rainstorm as they returned to camp and it veered off an interstate. Dye was thrown from the vehicle with his right arm pinned under it.

He underwent a nine-hour operation immediately after the accident to repair a bone in his arm and restore blood flow.

In a seven-hour operation Sunday at Flagstaff Medical Center, vascular surgeon Jerry Mohr and orthopedic surgeon Philip Mack performed a second surgery on Dye to repair the median and ulnar nerves, which control hand and lower-arm function.

In order to do that, the doctors had to graft nerves in Dye's lower legs to the damaged nerves in his arm.

By doing so, the doctors were able to build a bridge between the severed nerves and restore some degree of function in the arm.

"We continue to be hopeful that he will have more function (in the arm) in the future," said Mohr, adding that Dye will not have feeling in his arm for several months. "The arm is viable. Time will be the test."

Mohr said that there was blood and air found in Dye's chest cavity as a result of a complication from the second surgery. The seriousness of that is not known.

Doctors added that Dye continues to improve daily in terms of his overall health.

But they say the most important part of his recovery will center around tending to the broken arm and the wound he suffered in the Aug. 23 crash about 25 miles south of Flagstaff.

"It was a very contaminated wound that was cleaned out vigorously," said Mohr of the condition of Dye's arm following the accident. "Antibiotics and time along with dressing changes (will be critical)."

Dye will remain at Flagstaff Medical Center for up to two more weeks so that his injury can continue to be supervised by the medical team.

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