STILLWATER — Oklahoma State officials are encouraged by early reports concerning wide receiver Artrell Woods, who suffered a serious back injury during a routine weight lifting session Friday morning.
Multiple sources said it's too early to draw any conclusions, but Woods was moving his toes and flexed some muscles after undergoing surgery for 3 1/2 hours Friday at Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City. One source said Woods was out of bed and standing on Saturday, and doctors may have him attempt to walk today. "I was told surgery went well,” offensive coordinator Larry Fedora said via cell phone, driving back from a vacation in Florida. "We're concerned about his health, but are encouraged that our medical staff and doctors are providing the best care possible.” Sources said a disc was put back in place during surgery after Woods suffered a vertebrae injury from a "freak accident” during a step-up drill that is designed to build leg strength. "I'm driving back from vacation, so I don't have any details,” wide receivers coach Gunter Brewer said in a brief cell phone conversation, "but when I talked to him on the phone at the hospital, he was in good spirits.” The injury occurred Friday morning during a common drill for high school, college and pro athletes. In the drill, the athletes place between 75 and 100 pounds of weight behind their shoulders and step up and down off a box. The routine doesn't require a spotter. According to sources, Woods twisted an ankle and suffered the injury after he lost his balance. It's too early to speculate whether Woods will play football again. It could be several days, possibly weeks, before doctors can address Woods' long-term prognosis. In a press release, OSU head athletic trainer Rob Hunt said Woods is expected to be moved out of intensive care this weekend and could be discharged from the hospital "in the next several days.” Coach Mike Gundy and his staff have been on vacation the past week and are scheduled to meet on Monday to begin preparation for the upcoming season.
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