Anthony Conner has surgery on neck

Updated: October 24, 2011, 8:56 PM ET
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville cornerback Anthony Conner had surgery Monday at Jewish Hospital after breaking his neck making a tackle against Rutgers Friday night.

Coach Charlie Strong said the procedure was performed to "stabilize a cervical fracture" and that Conner "continues to maintain good feeling and movement in all his extremities."

Conner was in good spirits this morning prior to the procedure that began at approximately 10 a.m. ET, Strong said.

Strong said doctors felt Conner might be able to leave the hospital "in the next couple days." Before Conner can go home, doctors need to see that Conner can again walk, Strong said.

"There's nothing that's keeping him from walking because he has the feelings in his legs and hands," Strong said.

Strong said he has stressed to his team the need to live in the moment after watching one of their teammates suffer a career-ending injury.

Louisville has not yet decided how it will honor the senior for the rest of the season.

Strong said he could tell it when Conner was injured that it was more than just a normal hard hit.

"It was kind of right in front of me. When he made the hit and when he flipped and his hands tightened up I said over the headset to Vance (Bedford), our defensive coordinator, 'Oh God, Vance. This doesn't look good.' "

Conner was unconscious on the field. Strong and Bedford's were the first voices Conner heard after regaining consciousness.


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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