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Beech Given OK to Run, Lift Weights

August 22, 1986|STEVE LOWERY

Mike Beech, the UCLA football player who suffered critical head injuries when he fell from a fraternity house balcony during a party April 18, has been given permission to begin running and lifting weights.

Beech's physician, neurosurgeon Neil Martin of the UCLA Medical Center, will not decide whether the offensive tackle will be allowed to play football again until a CAT scan of Beech's brain is taken in several months.

Beech, a former star at Newport Harbor High School who red-shirted his freshman season last year, suffered a broken skull and nose, brain bruises and a facial fracture in the fall. He underwent 14 hours of surgery, during which doctors had to pick frayed pieces of bone from his brain, and was listed in critical condition.

The only reminders the 6-foot 6-inch Beech has now of the ordeal are dimpled scars on his forehead, a long scar across the top of his head and the loss of 30 pounds, 270 to 240.

"(Martin) basically gave me the green light," Beech said. "But I can't max out right now. He told me to see how I feel, and if anything is too strenuous, to stop and come back to it later."

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