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Top prospect Star Lotulelei gets positive news on heart

Concerns over Utah defensive lineman Star Lotulelei's health are beginning to be put to rest as the 2013 NFL Draft approaches.

A recent MRI showed "no evidence of dysfunction" with the defensive lineman's heart, which functioned "consistently with that of highly trained athletes" said Utah team physician Dave Petron, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Lotulelei, who was projected at No. 1 overall previously, put a scare into NFL personnel when an echocardiogram administered at the NFL Scouting Combine in February revealed his left ventricle was operating at just 44 percent, compared to the normal range of 55 percent to 70 percent.

The improvement in Lotulelei's condition in a test administered shortly after the combine led most to believe the abnormality might have been caused by a virus, according to the Tribune.

The most recent news buoys that belief.

The run-stuffing Lotulelei sits atop Mike Mayock's rankings of 3-4 defensive ends, and after an impressive showing at his pro day last month, his stock might continue to rise back up draft boards with news that his health might not be as big of a concern as initially thought.

UPDATE: In a letter to Lotulelei's agent, Bruce Tollner, obtained Tuesday by NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Dr. Josef Stehlik concludes that it is safe for Lotulelei to participate in pro sports "without restrictions."

Dr. Stehlik, a cardiologist at the University of Utah who was recommended to Tollner by the 49ers, wrote that a "follow-up heart imaging test obtained on March 27, 2013, showed complete normalization" of Lotulelei's heart muscle function.

Follow Kevin Patra on Twitter @kpatra.

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