TULSA, Okla. (AP) — It's still too early to know the long-term effects of the Tulane safety's spinal injury, the school's athletic director said Monday.
Devon Walker was in stable condition Monday, recovering in an intensive-care unit after Sunday's three-hour surgery to stabilize his spine at St. Francis Hospital in south Tulsa. He was injured in a head-to-head collision with a teammate during Saturday's game at Tulsa.
"It is too early in Devon's recovery process to draw any conclusions about his progress," said Tulane Athletic Director Rick Dickson. "When the neurosurgeons here at Saint Francis have more definitive information, they will co-consult" with the team's doctor. Until then, Dickson said, there will be "constant monitoring, care and attention" for Walker.
Dickson, speaking at a Monday news conference at the hospital, described Walker as "alert and responsive" following his surgery, but said he did not know when Walker could be released.
Dickson also read a message from Walker's parents, Inez and Booker Walker, who have requested privacy while their son is treated.
"We have been overwhelmed by the amount of concerned well wishes we have received from all over the world," the statement read. "Although we cannot respond individually to all, we thank everyone for the love and support shown to Devon and our family."
The University of Tulsa announced Monday that it had established a fund to benefit Walker's family.
Dickson described Walker, a senior majoring in cell and molecular biology, as a leader on and off the field.
"Devon's a very, very well-known, popular, well-respected man on our campus," he said. "He really represents the best of what we are. He's a true Tulane student athlete."