Severe headaches keep Bech off of football field

Updated: August 13, 2003, 12:30 PM ET

BATON ROUGE, La. -- Blain Bech's headaches are bad enough on some days to keep him from getting out of bed, never mind going to football practice.

Bech, a place kick holder and reserve receiver, made highlight reels with LSU last year by turning a fake field goal into a 35-yard touchdown in a 36-7 victory over Florida. But he missed much of spring practice and has yet to practice during this month's fall camp because of his mysterious ailment.

"Hopefully, any day now, I'll wake up and it (headaches) will be gone," said Bech, who played prep football at Slidell and is the younger brother of former Saints receiver Brett Bech. "I'm just trying to get better, get healthy, get stuff done. But nobody can figure out what it is."

Bech said the chronic headaches began in February or March and come without warning, sometimes with extreme nausea. On some days he can move around, but on others he can't leave home.

Bech has had X-rays, a CAT scan and an MRI exam. During spring practice he was in and out of hospitals. Specialists around the country have examined his test results.

On Tuesday he underwent a treatment that involves Botox injections, normally a cosmetic procedure that removes lines from the face. It required Bech to take an injection at the top of his nose between his eyes, one on each temple and two in the back of his head.

"The doctor said it just stings a little," Bech said. "That's because he's not taking them in the face. He's giving them."

Bech said he was told by a neurologist that a study found the treatment to be 80 percent effective in relieving headaches.

"I'm ready to try anything," he said.

Bech tries to attend as many meetings as possible. But practice is out of the question -- just trying to pull on a helmet causes excruciating pain.

With Bech possibly missing the season, the Tigers are trying wide receiver Michael Clayton and quarterback Matt Mauck, among others, as holders. And coach Nick Saban isn't ruling out Bech for this season if the headaches go away.

Clayton said Bech, who walked onto the team four years ago, has become one of his closest friends, and that the whole team is pulling for him.

"He deserves to come back even if it's just to stand on the sidelines. All he ever wanted to do is play for LSU. It's people like that we look up to for leadership," Clayton said.

This story is from's automated news wire. Wire index