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Star Lotulelei can exercise despite heart condition

Utah defensive tackle Star Lotulelei made the wrong type of news at the NFL Scouting Combine on Sunday, when an echocardiogram detected a heart condition for a player many expected to go in the top 10 in the 2013 NFL Draft.

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NFL Network's Kimberly Jones spoke with Lotulelei on Monday, who said he felt fine and has no idea if the issue is new or was preexisting. Lotulelei will fly to Utah on Monday to seek a second opinion. He was confident he would be able to work out without restrictions at his pro day March 20.

"The coaches I've talked to today say they already know this guy's a great player," Jones said Monday on NFL Network. "They didn't necessarily have to see him here today. He's put a lot of good stuff on tape. Lotulelei told me he appreciates all of that, he knows he had a decent season, has good tape out there, but he wants to be in the trenches with his buddies."

Lotulelei is free to continue exercising and working out, a source briefed on the player's condition told NFL.com's Albert Breer. According to Breer's source, the doctors at the combine never told Lotulelei he couldn't exercise, but rather they chose to err on the side of caution and keep him from performing in Indianapolis. Lotulelei wasn't barred from exercising, but he was told it would be better if he saw a specialist first.

Combine doctors also told Lotulelei that his condition is not unlike that of defensive end Frank Alexander, who was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fourth round of the 2012 draft.

USA Today reported Monday that the hope is Lotulelei's heart irregularity was the product of dehydration, high sodium intake or rapid weight loss. Lotulelei shed nearly 10 pounds in three days leading up to the combine.

Lotulelei likely will find out for sure in Utah. His first-round stock could be hanging in the balance.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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