ATLANTA -- After initially being ruled out for the season with a coronavirus-related heart condition, Georgia State freshman quarterback Mikele Colasurdo has been cleared to play.
The school announced Thursday that follow-up cardiac evaluations showed Colasurdo does not suffer from myocarditis or any other heart ailment that would prevent him from taking the field. He has begun a phased return to practice for the Panthers, who are scheduled to open the season against Sun Belt Conference rival Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 19.
The Panthers' first two games were canceled for virus-related reasons.
"I'm very thankful to be able to put this behind me and return to the game I love," Colasurdo said in a statement issued by the school. "I really appreciate all the support from our coaches and our trainers and medical staff for all they are doing to protect our health. I'm excited to be back on the field."
Colasurdo revealed last month that he had been stricken with COVID-19 during the summer break. The initial cardiac screening done by the school showed a possible case of myocarditis, a heart inflammation that has been linked to the virus.
Colasurdo planned to sit out the season, depriving the Panthers of a top prospect who enrolled in the spring and was expected to contend for the starting position. While he has now been cleared to play, the long layoff and lack of practice time will certainly affect his chances of getting on the field as a true freshman.
Georgia State is looking to replace Dan Ellington, who started the past two seasons and led the team to a memorable upset of Tennessee in the 2019 opener. The Panthers finished 7-6, losing to Wyoming in the Arizona Bowl.
Several athletes have had myocarditis, and conferences that decided not to play this fall mentioned the disease as a potential risk of returning to the playing field during a pandemic.
A native of Inman, South Carolina, Colasurdo led Chapman High School to a 15-0 record and the Class AAA state championship last season. He threw for more than 3,000 yards and accounted for 36 passing touchdowns and 15 rushing scores.