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Brain exam possible even after Junior Seau's burial

May 10, 2012 | 11:34 am

Click for more photos of Junior Seau

The family of football star Junior Seau has yet to decide whether to allow his brain to be studied for possible damage caused during his football career that might have led to his suicide.

A private viewing is set for Thursday night, and a private memorial and burial is scheduled Friday. But that does not preclude the family from deciding after the burial to permit a brain examination, according to the San Diego County medical examiner.

"Steps have been taken to allow study of brain tissue if the family wishes," the medical examiner's office said in a statement.

PHOTOS: Junior Seau | 1969 - 2012

The issue of brain damage among NFL players has been highlighted by the recent early deaths of former players, including one who committed suicide and left instructions that his brain be examined.

Seau, 43, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest May 2 at his home in Oceanside. He left no note and friends are baffled by his decision to commit suicide.

The San Diego Chargers plan a celebration in Seau's honor Friday night at Qualcomm Stadium, with parking lot gates open at 2 p.m., gates to the stadium open at 4:30 p.m., and the celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. Several current and former players and other notables will address the crowd.


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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Junior Seau during a Chargers-Dolphins game in 2002. Credit: Al Messerschmidt / Getty Images