Thu, Sep 13, 2007 - Page 19 News List

Kevin Everett prognosis improves

AFP , BUFFALO, NEW YORK

Bills tight end Kevin Everett, who suffered a "catastrophic" spinal injury on Sunday, had movement in his limbs that could signal an improved prognosis, a Buffalo television station reported on Tuesday.

"We may be witnessing a minor miracle," orthopedic surgeon Andrew Cappuccino told WIVB-TV in a report posted on the station's Web site.

Cappuccino, who had said on Monday that Everett's chances of walking again were "very slim," apparently found reasons to be more optimistic on Tuesday.

According to the report, Everett was able to voluntarily move his arms and legs, and Cappuccino also noted that the MRI scan taken after the surgery showed only a small amount of swelling in the cord -- both positive signs.

Everett, 25, was injured when he collided heavily with Denver Broncos returner Domenik Hixon on the second-half kickoff in the Bills' National Football League season-opener.

Everett had surgery that lasted four hours on Sunday night, during which Cappuccino repaired a break between the third and fourth vertebrae and also alleviated pressure on the spinal cord.

To reconfigure Everett's spine, doctors also made a bone graft and inserted a cage and a plate, held in by four screws, and inserted two small rods that are held in place by another four screws.

Meanwhile, Everett's mother thanked the team and its fans for their support.

"On behalf of my son and our entire family. I want to thank the fans and everyone for their prayers, warm wishes and general thoughts about Kevin," Everett's mother Patricia Dugas said.

"I especially want to thank the hospital staff and the Bills organization for their tremendous support during this difficult and challenging time. I would ask for everyone to continue to keep Kevin in their prayers," she said.

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