Sports Outside the Beltway

Dexter Manley Recovering from Brain Surgery

Dexter Manley, the star defensive end for the Washington Redskins perhaps best known for his drug abuse problems, is recovering from extensive brain surgery.

Dexter Manley, the former All-Pro defensive end for the Washington Redskins, underwent 10½ hours of brain surgery Wednesday and, as expected, is experiencing minor, isolated memory loss.

According to his wife, Lydia, Manley was hospitalized June 16 after police found him “disoriented” in northeast Washington. She said a CT scan showed an enlarged colloid cyst that was collecting fluid and causing increased intracranial pressure. Doctors recommended surgery, and Manley, 48, is now resting in the intensive care unit at Georgetown University Hospital.

His prognosis is for a relatively full recovery, although doctors have told his wife that memory loss is a common side effect of the operation. When asked this weekend to recall his jersey number with the Redskins, Manley answered, “7272,” and he also confused the names of some of his closer friends.

“I guess that’s what the doctors were talking about,” Lydia Manley said. “But he was asked where he was born, and he was right, he said, ‘Houston.’ The nurse said, ‘Oh, you’re a Longhorn,’ and he said, ‘Yes.’ He’s not confused. He’s fine; he’s blessed. He might be a little off, but not that far off. He’s OK.”

Manley, who is 6-foot-3 and about 260 pounds, is expected to be hospitalized for at least another week. “I don’t feel too good,” he said over the telephone. “My head hurts, I’m cold a little bit. When I drink water, I get a little cold. They’ve been poking me all day. Needles and needles and needles.”


Manley, who was banned from the NFL in 1991 for repeated cocaine abuse, had known about his colloid cyst for 20 years. He had collapsed inside a Georgetown department store in April 1986 after an all-night drug spree, and doctors found the cyst after performing a routine CT scan in the emergency room. Surgery, at the time, could have been career-ending, but, according to Lydia, several doctors told Manley that the cyst was only the size of a nickel and that he could continue playing. They recommended a CT scan every six months to monitor the cyst’s growth, but Manley stopped getting checked in 1994 when he left the Washington area and moved to Houston.

Manley was never known for his good judgment. I’m happy to hear that he’ll get yet another chance to get it right.

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Manley, who was banned from the NFL in 1991

Dexter Manley is among 10 Redskins this year, that have been nominated to the NFL Hall of Fame:

Posted by Go Tell Big Daddy | November 9, 2006 | 05:52 pm | Permalink

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