Eric LeGrand leaves rehab institute

NEW YORK -- Eric LeGrand, the Rutgers defensive tackle who was paralyzed from the neck down in a game against Army last October, was released from the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., on Wednesday, and will reside at his aunt's home in Jackson, N.J., for the near future.

LeGrand had been at the Kessler Institute since Nov. 8.

"This is an exciting day for me to return to living with family," said LeGrand, in a statement released by Rutgers. "My family and I can't thank Kessler enough for all of the tremendous care and support I received as I continue rehab from my injury. It has meant so much to me to receive so many well wishes and prayers from everyone."

LeGrand fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae making a head-first tackle on a kickoff return in a game at New Meadowlands Stadium against Army on Oct. 16. He has sensation in his body since the injury and can shrug his shoulders, but he has been unable to move his arms or legs since being hurt.

Going forward, LeGrand will continue the rehab process as an outpatient, visiting the Kessler Rehabilitation Center in Ocean Township twice a week, and returning to the Kessler Institute once a week. LeGrand had a tracheotomy last week.

LeGrand made his first public appearance in February to attend a "Laugh to Heal Comedy Fest Fundraiser" for him at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

It was his second trip to the university since the injury. He also joined his teammates for the first team meeting of the semester in January.

The Avenel resident resumed his coursework in January via video conference.

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.