Beckie Discloses Cardiac Incident, But Nearing Return
Atletico Ottawa defender Drew Beckie has released a statement clarifying that his ongoing absence in the matchday squad is related to a COVID-19 exposure that led to other health complications.
The defender has been out of the matchday lineup for the expansion side’s last five games, with Atletico Ottawa simply stating he was out injured. After reading numerous questions and comments on the matter, the veteran defender has opted to disclose his medical circumstances, revealing that his absence was related to heart complications resulting from a COVID-19 exposure.
The thirty-year-old had been hospitalized for five days after the cardiac episode, though his recovery appears to be well on track: in fact, he’s hopeful to return to the matchday squad in a couple of weeks.
His statement reads as follows:
I’ve had an incredible amount of messages of support. Thank you everyone. I do not deserve such support but I’m grateful. I’ve also had some people try to comment on what I have going on and that’s disappointing. I hear “Health issues”, “can’t have that in your team”. On August 25 I had a cardiac episode that put me in the hospital for five days. This is not related to myocarditis. This was a complication of COVID exposure. COVID is real and needs to be taken seriously. I am optimistic I can return within the next few weeks.Drew Beckie
Beckie had experienced a near-fatal bout with myocarditis in late 2017, but fought his way back into the professional game to sign with Oklahoma City, El Paso Locomotive, and Atletico Ottawa in the time since the inflammatory episode of his heart muscle.
While a viral infection can sometimes be the cause of myocarditis, Beckie has clarified that the heart issue for which he was recently hospitalized was due to a COVID-19 exposure, rather than his past medical history.
COVID-19 complications can lead to a myriad of health issues, though thankfully Beckie has remained out of the hospital following his five day stay and appears well on the road to recovery.
His most recent appearance for Atletico Ottawa came in a 1-1 draw against York United on August 19, though he was listed as on the bench against Forge FC on August 26. Early September saw the club without eight players, which forced the team to sign the likes of Mamadou Ba and Myles Cornwall as depth options during that window.
The club has two draws and three losses since Beckie’s absence, and currently sits at the bottom of league standings. With a league-worst goals against of 32 after 18 games played, Beckie’s presence on the pitch is certainly missed – though he has been vocal in his support of the team online.
He has gone on to make twelve appearances for the expansion side across all competitions, with his league play seeing the defender listed second in the side for blocks, third for clearances, and second for aerial duals won. His first assist in the CPL led to the club’s first-ever goal at TD Place:
Atletico Ottawa requires fans attending the match to show proof of full vaccination, or provide staff with valid proof of exemption along with a negative COVID-19 antigen test. The rules are mandated by TD Place operator Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group.
The Saskatchewan native was no stranger to the Ottawa sports scene before arriving to the club this season, having made 44 appearances for the Ottawa Fury through two separate stints. He has made over 150 professional appearances in North America thus far, most of them in the USA.
We wish Drew Beckie all the best in his recovery.
Header Image Credit: Canadian Premier League / George Ellison