Carstens determined to return to Panthers despite kidney disease

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Jordan Carstens came to Carolina Panthers practice late last season thinking he had pulled a muscle in his rib cage. But the problem was much more serious.

The reserve defensive tackle spent the next week in the hospital with a blood clot on his left lung. Seven months later, doctors are still trying to find the right medicine to treat his kidney disease so he can play football again.

Carstens says he and his wife are saying their prayers, because there's not much they can do.

Carstens first started having kidney trouble in 2005. He started a career-high 15 games in place of the injured Kris Jenkins that year.

Carstens is taking another batch of medication now, and he must pass a series of tests just before training camp next month before he'll be cleared to return.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)