Diluted drug sample for Zach Mettenberger attributed to increased water intake during ACL rehab

LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger had a diluted urine specimen at the NFL scouting combine, a result that his agent and therapists attributed to increased water consumption due to recommended fluid intake as he was rehabbing from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

Mettenberger's physical therapist, Jason Eliowitz, sent a letter to NFL Dr. Lawrence Brown explaining the issue. A diluted sample can potentially be interpreted as a positive test, but there were no traces of illegal substances.

"The diluted urine specimen is because of increased water consumption as directed by Mettenberger's physical therapists," agent Seth Katz told National Football Post in a telephone interview. "That was to counter dehydration and muscle fatigue. The documentation has been sent to the NFL."

Here's a full copy of the letter from Eliowitz to Dr. Lawrence Brown, who advises the NFL on drugs of abuse and alcohol.

"Dear Dr. Lawrence Brown,

Zachary Mettenberger was under our care from 2/11/14 to 3/10/14 for the rehabilitation of his left knee. During this time, he reported to us that he was experiencing frequent muscle cramping during the day as well as at night while trying to sleep. Because of this, he was advised to drink as much as 1 to 1.5 gallons of water per day, to increase his consumption of foods high in potassium, and to increase his sodium intake. This was recommended as he was performing rehab and training 6 days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., causing dehydration. This high consumption of fluid was necessary to counteract the dehydration from intensive training sessions and to promote a healthy fluid balance while Zachary was healing from his recent ACL reconstruction.

We also recommend that Zachary continues this process throughout his rigorous rehab program to avoid future cramping and possible dehydration.

If you should have any specific questions regarding this matter please feel free to contact me. Thank you.

Best regards, Jason Eliowitz."

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Aaron Wilson covers the Ravens for The Baltimore Sun.

Aaron Wilson
Aaron Wilson covers the NFL for National Football Post, his second stint at the Post. He has previously written for Pro Football Talk and FOX Sports-Scout. Entering his 13th year covering the Baltimore Ravens, he's a beat writer for The Baltimore Sun. Wilson has also covered the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tennessee Titans.

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