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Rick Stroud, Greg Auman and Matt Baker

Clifton Smith has had monthlong effort to solve mystery pain



Clifton Smith was running around the practice field at One Buc Place today looking like a guy who was pain-free.

He now reveals that, for the first time in a month, he nearly is.

Smith said today he has been dealing with inflammation and severe pain in his right knee and elsewhere for nearly two months, dating to the Bucs' June minicamp. The situation had stymied the team's training staff and doctors for weeks, and only now has a treatment been discovered for treating the gout-like symptoms he's dealing with.

"This is the best I've felt in a long time," Smith said. "I'm feeling a lot better."

The swelling, Smith said, is starting to subside significantly.

"A lot of it went down," he said. "They put me on some medication for about a month, so I’ve been feeling a lot better. I felt bad for a good month and a half. But I thought it was just came with the territory of playing football, being sore and everything. But I knew something wasn’t right."

When Smith finally was told his condition might be associated with gout, he wasn't sure what to think.

"I pulled my phone out and Googled it right there," he said. "I didn’t know what it was."

All Smith knew was the discomfort was becoming overwhelming.

"It was frustrating because you wake up in the morning and it’s hard to walk, it’s hard to walk upstairs, your back hurts, your whole body hurts," he said. "It didn’t start getting better until about a week ago. It (started) toward the end of minicamp, toward the (offseason) break. I was just trying to fight it off."

-- Stephen F. Holder, Times Staff Writer

[Last modified: Wednesday, August 25, 2010 5:36pm]


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