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Paralyzed Rutgers Football Player Has Movement in Shoulders

Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers University lineman who was paralyzed during a football game against Army three months ago, told ESPN that he has full sensation in his body and movement in his shoulders.

LeGrand conducted his first interview since his Oct. 16 spinal-cord injury from the Kessler Institute in West Orange, New Jersey, where he is rehabilitating. The interview will air tomorrow on ESPN at 9 a.m. New York time.

LeGrand, 20, said he had “the fear of death” and thought he “could pass out and die here” as he lay motionless on the field after making a special-teams tackle. He said he wasn’t able give the crowd a thumbs-up motion as he was being carted off the field because it felt like “1,000 pounds” was on his finger.

Doctors initially thought LeGrand wouldn’t regain any movement or feeling below the neck. In November, his paralysis was reclassified to show he didn’t suffer a complete loss of function below the damaged area. LeGrand, a junior from Avenel, New Jersey, has been able to breathe on his own without the use of a ventilator for about six weeks.

“He believes that he’s going to be up and moving again,” Rutgers coach Greg Schiano said on the school’s website. “There’s no doubt in his mind.”

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