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Rutgers’ Eric LeGrand Hospitalized With Fever

Eric LeGrand

Eric LeGrand/Facebook

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Tom Canavan, AP Sports Writer

Paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand has been hospitalized with a high fever.

Hours after being admitted to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., Rutgers says the 20-year-old LeGrand was moved to St. Barnabas Medical Center late Wednesday with a high fever.

The university says LeGrand of Avenel, N.J., will remain at the hospital in Livingston, N.J., until he is able to return to Kessler.

Rutgers said any updates on LeGrand’s condition would be issued by the family through the school.

The junior defensive tackle was paralyzed from the neck down on Oct. 16 making a tackle on a kickoff return against Army.

LeGrand had surgery and was treated at Hackensack University Medical Center before being transferred to Kessler for the next phase of his treatment.

Dr. Barth Green, a neurosurgeon and chairman of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis at the University of Miami, said LeGrand having a fever is not unexpected.

“High fevers in someone in his reported condition are very common,” Green said on Thursday in an e-mail sent to The Associated Press. “In addition, pneumonia, urinary tract infections and deep vein thrombosis are also complications that often come up, and I am sure they are assessing for all three.”

Scarlet Knights coach Greg Schiano said in a conference call on Thursday that LeGrand was able to watch Rutgers’ 28-27 loss to South Florida on Wednesday night. However, he never said anything about him being hospitalized again.

LeGrand’s mother, Karen, has said after he was transferred to Kessler on Wednesday that her son was in good spirits and was anxious to take the next step in his rehabilitation.

Rutgers (4-4, 1-2 Big East) has not won since LeGrand was hurt and its streak of playing in five consecutive bowl games is in jeopardy with four games left in the season.

The Scarlet Knights will have 10 days off before facing Syracuse in Piscataway on Nov. 13. They also have games at Cincinnati on Nov. 20, at home against Louisville on the day after Thanksgiving and a season ender at West Virginia on Dec 4.

Schiano said his team played better against South Florida than it did against Pittsburgh, which was played a week after LeGrand was injured.

“We just didn’t get good enough,” Schiano said. “We were one point short, but we certainly did improve. And as I watched the tape I saw that as well. We just have to improve more.”

Schiano also was moved by the play of freshman receiver Jeremy Deering, whose mother died last Friday.

“Jeremy’s situation is one that’s very private,” Schiano said. “But I think the fact that he wanted to play; the fact that he went out there and played with a great deal of focus and concentration said a little bit about him as man and as a performer.”

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.