WHITE SULPHUR SPRINGS, W.Va. -- The brother of New York Giants tight end Daniel Fells said Fells, who is battling a MRSA staph infection in his foot and leg, was never in danger of losing his foot, although another source close to Fells disputed that claim Thursday night.
Arizona Cardinals tight end Darren Fells was excused from team meetings Monday to visit his brother in a New York City hospital. After spending the day with Daniel, Darren said the infection was "almost gone."
"The latest is pretty much everything that was reported about it was false," Darren Fells told ESPN.com. "He never really was fighting for his foot. I don't know how it got that major, but as of right now, from what I know, he has a minimum of two more surgeries just to make sure the infection's gone and he'll be out of the hospital."
Daniel Fells had surgery Wednesday morning, but it's unclear whether that was one of the two Darren Fells was referring to. ESPN.com reporter Dan Graziano reported Wednesday that it was the sixth surgery Daniel has had since being diagnosed with MRSA two weeks ago and that doctors were still administering antibiotics.
The other source close to Daniel Fells said later Thursday night that Daniel had indeed been close to losing his foot and was not out of the woods yet.
"In defense of Darren defending Daniel and some inaccurate reporting, Daniel's situation has been serious since he was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago with fevers above 104 degrees, talk of amputation, fears of MRSA being in his heart and lungs," the source said. "This was and still is a serious situation that Daniel has been fighting with the strong support of his family, friends and the entire Giants organization."
Darren, who until Monday was getting his information through Daniel's wife, said Daniel was in bad shape at one point.
"It did get pretty bad, where the infection was spreading and everything like that," Darren said. "It's now to the point where he'll be good.
"He's not going to have to lose a foot or anything like that."
When talking about his visit with his brother, Darren's eyes grew big, and his excitement over seeing Daniel was obvious.
The two spent time catching up beyond Daniel's medical condition, but Darren said he talked to Daniel's doctor.
Darren said the doctor said he was confused with some of the information that was being reported.
"Even his doctor was like, 'I don't know where all these [reports] are coming from. I was the one doing the operation, and I don't ever remember cutting off anything,'" Darren said. "[Daniel's] doing real well. His spirits are high. He told me never at any point did he feel this was going to get the best of him."
Daniel was diagnosed with MRSA while being treated for an ankle injury, and the Giants placed him on season-ending injured reserve because of the treatment the life-threatening infection requires. As a result of the infection and the surgeries required to treat it, Fells, 32, is unlikely to play football again.
Darren, one of Arizona's starting tight ends this season, said the past few weeks were tough to get through without seeing Daniel.
"It's extremely tough to keep a clear head when your brother's in the hospital, and you're hearing different things about him fighting for his life," Darren said. "When you hear things like that, it's extremely tough to focus."