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Posted at 3:01 PM ET, 11/23/2010

Eric LeGrand, paralyzed in Rutgers game, is off ventilator and breathing on his own

By Cindy Boren

Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers junior defensive tackle who was paralyzed as he made a tackle against Army on Oct. 16 at the New Meadowlands, has been taken off a ventilator and is breathing on his own.

LeGrand is undergoing rehabilitation at the Kessler Institute, which has reclassified his injury from a complete spinal injury to an incomplete one.

"Having an incomplete injury is a better overall prognosis than having a complete injury," Steven Kirshblum, medical director of the institute, told the Newark Star-Ledger, but stressed that each patient is unique. "Every case is individualized," Kirshblum said. "One should always maintain hope."

Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano spoke of LeGrand's fighting spirit.

"Eric continues to make some progress," Schiano said. "He's a fighter through and through. He has continued to push the envelope with the doctors and everyone. He wants to do what he can do and keep doing it. It's going to be a long road back. This is a great milestone for him right now in his recovery. He has a lot of work ahead of him. He knows that. We're all here to support him. We just ask for the continued prayers of everyone because our prayers are being answered.

"I think his spirits are good. He's an incredible person. He amazes me day after day with his outlook, his attitude. Until you're put in that position, no one knows how they'll respond to it.''

LeGrand's family released a statement through Rutgers:

"We want to thank everyone for all of the love and support for Eric, it has really been beneficial to his recovery," the LeGrand family said in a statement. "Please continue to keep Eric in your prayers."

By Cindy Boren  | November 23, 2010; 3:01 PM ET
Categories:  College football  
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Something for the LeGrand family to be especially thankful for this week. We're grateful too.


Posted by: tslats | November 23, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

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