USM's Nix making progress, could return home soon

The Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Derrick Nix has been steadily recovering from kidney transplant surgery and could soon be cleared to continue his recuperation at home.

The former Southern Mississippi tailback is being treated by doctors in an outpatient facility run by The University of Alabama-Birmingham Hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Home this week?

“I heard he could be getting out this week, but I don't know for sure,” said Southern Miss defensive coordinator Tyrone Nix, Derrick's brother. Nix's parents live in Attalla, Ala., about 60 miles from the hospital.

Nix received a kidney on June 6 from his oldest brother, Marcus. Marcus Nix was released from the hospital two days after the operation.

Nix has filed a lawsuit against the makers of anti-inflammatory drugs Vioxx and Celebrex, which he claims caused a kidney condition called focal segmental sclerosis. The disease prevents the kidneys from properly filtering waste from the blood.

He took the drugs to treat a sprained ankle in 2000. He was sidelined for 18 months while trying to recover from the kidney ailment.

He returned to play in 2002 and ran for 1,194 yards and 11 touchdowns. But after the season, tests revealed his condition had worsened and he started dialysis treatment.

Golden Eagles coach Jeff Bower said Nix will be offered a position as a graduate coaching assistant this season if he is healthy enough to handle the work load.