Benji Radach suffers snakebite, MRSA, surgery

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Benji Radach has traveled down this road too many times before.

The 30-year-old middleweight underwent surgery on Thursday to clean out a staph infection that resulted from a procedure two weeks ago in which doctors repaired a torn pectoral muscle. Radach, who thinks it will be four to six months before he can train, may not be fit to compete again until 2011.

Radach has a long-standing relationship with the injury bug. Bitten by a brown recluse spider in 2004, he developed an infection that carved a golf ball-sized hole out of his leg. Still, he accepted a match against Chris Leben under the Sportfight banner and suffered a broken jaw in two places for his troubles. Radach eventually missed nearly three years of competition, as he underwent surgeries for a herniated disc and torn knee ligament, the latter of which resulted in a serious MRSA staph infection that led to talk of possible amputation. Broken hands and a broken collarbone have rounded out his injury checklist.

“I was trying to stay in decent shape,” he said. “I thought I had warmed up enough. The first thing out of my mouth was, ‘F–k, f–k, f–k!’ I felt like my shoulder was going to come out of the socket. I’ve never had it come out before, but that’s what I thought was happening.”

“Lying on my back, I couldn’t put my arm straight up,” Radach said. “My whole arm was full of blood, down to my hand. They said, sure enough, I had torn [my pectoral muscle] from the bone.”

The UFC and International Fight League veteran underwent surgery to repair the muscle two weeks ago, but earlier this week, a new problem surfaced when Radach returned to the gym — MRSA staph, a drug-resistant bacterial infection.

His doctor bore bad news. A second procedure was required.

“He aspirated it — cut it about an inch and a half deep and two inches wide and squeezed all this s–t out — and packed it full of gauze,” Radach said. “It was nasty. We’ll have to keep doing that until it heals. It has to heal from the inside out. Whenever a person has MRSA, it makes them more susceptible to it. I just hope it doesn’t kill me at some point.”

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