Schiano: LeGrand "is doing well"

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano updated the condition of defensive tackle Eric LeGrand, who suffered a critical neck injury Saturday against Army and remains at Hackensack Medical Center. Schiano said "Eric is at Hackensack Medical Center and is doing well," but cautioned it will be a long recovery process.

Rutgers coach Greg Schiano described critically injured defensive tackle Eric LeGrand as "doing well" Monday, and added he remains steadfast in his belief the 20-year-old junior will walk out of the hospital one day.

Schiano made the comments during his weekly slot on the Big East Conference teleconference. LeGrand suffered a neck injury Saturday against Army and was paralyzed from the neck down.

"Eric is at Hackensack Medical Center and is doing well," Schiano said. "It's going to be a long, long road and a long fight, but everyone here at Rutgers, his team, his family, we believe he is going to recover and is going to walk out of there.

"We appreciate all the thoughts and prayers of so many people. The league has been tremendous; coaches, athletic directors, trainers, players, from across the country, really, but our league has been special and I want to thank everyone for that."

Schiano was asked about whether LeGrand was able to move his toes, which was posted by readers on internet message boards (including on late Sunday night.

The 10th-year Rutgers coach did not specifically answer the question, but did talk about LeGrand's road to recovery.

"This is going to be a long, long, hard road back and there's going to be a lot of speculation," Schiano said. "He's got a lot of friends, and a lot of people who care. I think it's important that we stay away from daily updates and those kinds of things because I think there's so much information out there, and a lot of it misguided.

"Right now, when it's appropriate, we will make an announcement if there is any kind of change in his condition. But that's not going to be a day-to-day thing."

LeGrand had surgery Saturday night into Sunday morning on the c-3 and c-4 vertebrae in his neck. Since the injury occurred, a member of the Rutgers athletic department has been with LeGrand's family at the hospital, Schiano said.

During a Sunday afternoon conference call, Schiano stated he believed LeGrand would regain his ability to walk. Asked the same thing on Monday's call, Schiano's answer was the same.

"My belief has not changed and it will not change, and neither will our program's (belief)," Schiano said. "Eric …he will recover."

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