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Hospital releases King after heart surgery

USC offensive tackle Jarriel King has been released from the hospital following heart surgery last week.

Because of privacy concerns, USC media relations director Steve Fink would confirm only that King is recovering from a medical procedure last Friday and hopes to return to classes this week.

King is expected to participate in spring practice, according to Fink.

After two heart scares in a three-week period last September, the 21-year-old King revealed he would undergo surgery after the season to correct an irregular heartbeat.

The 6-foot-7, 304-pound sophomore was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation two years ago at Georgia Military College. He was hospitalized in September after experiencing tightness and pain in his chest, as well as shortness of breath while lifting weights.

King was cleared to play after doctors adjusted his medication, but said at the time he knew surgery was necessary.

"They do the tests and they see (the arrhythmia) right there plain on paper every time for the past year and a half, two years," King said during a September interview. "It's apparent that I need to have something done about it, and after the season I'm going to have it taken care of."

King, a North Charleston native who originally signed with the Gamecocks in 2005, started 11 games at left tackle in his first season at USC, including the final 10 games.

A defensive lineman at junior college, King's emergence at tackle allowed USC coaches to move fifth-year senior Jamon Meredith to left guard.

Reach Person at (803) 771-8496.