LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Virginia’s Perris Jones had spine surgery and was briefly able to walk, the school said Saturday, two days after the running back was immobilized and carted off the field after being injured against the No. 11 Cardinals.
Jones had the surgery on Friday at UofL Hospital and remains under observation, according to a statement from Virginia assistant athletic director for athletic communications Jim Daves. He will be transferred to Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville for continued care when his medical team deems appropriate, the statement added.
Jones was taken from the field to the hospital on Thursday night. Daves said Friday the senior had movement in all of his extremities.
Jones caught a 7-yard pass from Anthony Colandrea and was starting to run upfield when he fumbled after a hard hit to his helmet by Cam’Ron Kelly. Malik Washington scooped up the ball near the right sideline and dashed down the field for the go-ahead touchdown to make 21-14 in the third quarter.
Kelly indicated Jones tried to go low and he went low, too.
“I’m just praying for him,” Kelly said. “I said my piece to him when he was on the stretcher. I’ve got nothing but love for him. I hope he has a speedy recovery.”
Spectators in L&N Stadium fell silent as medical personnel from Virginia and Louisville quickly rushed to tend to Jones as he lay on the turf and a cart quickly entered the field.
Players from both teams knelt for about 15 minutes as Jones was treated. He was lifted onto the board, with his head wrapped between two pads, and onto the cart with Cavaliers players gathered around him. Fans and players applauded Jones as the cart left the field.
AP Sport Writer Hank Kurz contributed to this report.
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