Is Tyson's hand hurt as well?

November 14, 1991|By Wallace Matthews | Wallace Matthews,Newsday

NEW YORK -- Does Mike Tyson have a sore left mitt to go along with his tender rib cage?

That was a rumor many boxing reporters spent the better part of yesterday chasing down. And even after Tyson's hand specialist, Dr. David Chiu of Manhattan, returned repeated calls late last night, the question remained unanswered, although an administrator at Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital, where Chiu is affiliated, said Tyson had been there Tuesday night but was not admitted. Other hospital sources said they believe Tyson was there for examination of an injured hand.

"The rumor is incorrect. I did not operate on Mike Tyson [Tuesday night]," said Chiu, who in 1988 treated Tyson for a broken right hand suffered in the "Battle of Dapper Dan's," his infamous 4 a.m. street brawl with nemesis Mitch "Blood" Green. Chiu also had made inserts for Tyson's training gloves to ease the pain of a chronic hand injury that has troubled Tyson since his amateur days.

"It is no secret he is one of my patients," said Chiu, who refused to comment on whether Tyson was examined at the hospital Tuesday, nor if surgery was planned in the near future, citing doctor-patient confidentiality.

But sources within Tyson's camp indicate the former heavyweight champion has been bothered recently by a chronic injury to his left hand and surgery would not be a surprise, especially since Tyson recently had been told to stop all training because of recurring pain from a torn rib cartilage injury that forced him to postpone his title fight against Evander Holyfield.

"It's an old injury and I know it's been bothering him," said a source involved in Tyson's training who insisted on anonymity. "It's not in the knuckles but back further, like in the palm of the hand. It's always bothered him. He can't do anything now anyway, so he may as well have it done."

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