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SportIllini DE who suffered severe spinal injury speaking, eating and sitting up

01:00  22 may  2019
01:00  22 may  2019 Source:   nbcsports.com

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Illini DE who suffered severe spinal injury speaking, eating and sitting up© Getty Images

There is some positive news when it comes to a distressing situation that developed over the weekend.

Illinois true junior defensive end Bobby Roundtree sustained what was described as a severe spinal cord injury in a swimming accident Saturday and underwent surgery a day later.  According to the Associated Press, Roundtree is progressing well following the surgery and, while he remains hospitalized, is speaking, eating and sitting up.

Several members of the Illini football program, including Lovie Smith, traveled to Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, Fla., to be with the injured player.

Illinois DL Bobby Roundtree suffers 'severe' spinal injury in swimming accident

Illinois DL Bobby Roundtree suffers 'severe' spinal injury in swimming accident Illinois defensive lineman Bobby Roundtree was severely injured in a swimming accident. The school announced Monday that Roundtree, a junior, suffered a “severe spinal injury” on Saturday while swimming near his home of Largo, Florida. Roundtree is recovering after undergoing surgery on Sunday night at Mease Countryside Hospital in Safety Harbor, Florida, the school said. No other information about Roundtree’s condition is available at this time.

“Bobby Roundtree is exactly what you want in a student-athlete,” a statement from the head coach began. “He is a hard worker, dependable, a dedicated student and a leader.

“This is devastating to his teammates, the entire Fighting Illini family and his family and friends. We will give Bobby all the support possible as he battles through his recovery. Please keep Bobby and his family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Roundtree, who played his high school football in Largo, Fla., has started 20 games the past two seasons since coming to the Illini as a three-star member of their 2017 recruiting class.  This past season, the 6-5, 245-pound end led the Illini in tackles for loss with 12.5 and pass breakups, and was second in sacks with 7.5 and quarterback hits with four.

For that, the media named Roundtree honorable mention All-Big Ten for the 2018 season.

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