Gerry Dulac tweeted this afternoon that guard Chris Kemoeatu could be out until the week 8 game against the Patriots with his knee problem and source told me tonight that Kemoeatu is indeed suffering from a bad case of gout. Kemoeatu is of Polynesian descent and gout is more common for certain races such as Polynesians according to the source.
According to WebMD, gout is a kind of arthritis that can cause an attack of sudden burning pain, stiffness, and swelling in a joint. This is not really new news as Scott Brown reported back in early August that Kemoeatu was dealing with arthritis and bone fragments in his left knee and it was the reason why he started training camp on the PUP list. He did not see his first preseason action this year until the 3rd game against the Falcons. Since then he missed the week 2 game against the Seahawks and sat out again last week against the Titans.
For now the Steelers will continue to turn to Doug Legursky at left guard and it is not out of the question that he could hold the job permanently with a few good showings over the next couple of weeks. The Steelers are struggling to maintain some sort of continuity on their offensive line as Sunday will mark the 6th different starting offensive line combination in as many weeks.
Kemoeatu is just 28 years old and is under contract through the 2013 season after signing a 5-year contract back in early 2009 worth around $20 million in total. He is scheduled to count over $5 million against the salary cap next year after restructuring his contract before the season started, so you have to think that the end of the road is near for him in the black and gold considering the problem with his knee.