With injuries to Ben Habern and Tyler Evans, and Austin Woods still going through chemo treatments, guard/center Nila Kasitati has become an invaluable piece of the offensive line rotation. But he, too, had a scare this summer.
Since middle school, Kasitati has had episodes where he couldn’t catch his breath and his heart would race. A “heavy chest,” he called it. Sometimes he’d get out of a chair and “it felt like I’d ran a mile.” Finally this summer, it became too much to bear. He woke up for a July workout with a racing heart. It never slowed, and Kasitati had to eventually excuse himself from the workout.
“I wasn’t sure what it was,” he said. "Before, I didn’t think it was anything. I never saw it as anything. But I guess one workout – and the work I was doing wasn’t even hard – it just hit me as I woke up. It bothered me the whole day and I went into workouts and I just couldn’t do it.”
Kasitati met with the training staff, who performed an EKG on him. He was diagnosed with arrhythmia.
“They did this procedure where they actually go through up your groin, the main arteries, and just go up,” he said.
Kasitati had to stay away from football for a couple of weeks, missing the first days of practice. But he has since returned, feels great and is just days away from getting all of his conditioning back.
“I’m fine,” he said. “The surgery was a success so I’m good right now. There’s nothing holding me back from being better or getting a chance to play.”