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Killings recovers movement


The Houston Texans had reason to smile Monday when they learned defensive tackle Cedric Killings had regained movement in his legs.

The Houston Texans were able to breathe a huge sigh of relief Monday when they learned that defensive tackle Cedric Killings stood in his hospital room and doctors believed he would soon be walking.

Killings left Sunday's game against Indianapolis immobilized on a stretcher after colliding headfirst with Colts receiver Roy Hall on a Texans' kickoff return.

"He was carted off and taken to the hospital to be treated with what was an apparent quadriplegia on the field, which means that on the field he had no movement initially in legs or arms," Texans team physician Dr. Walter Lowe said.

Killings has since regained movement in his arms and legs, but the Texans' medical team said he is still weak in both hands and his left arm.

Dr. Robert Parrish, the neurosurgeon attending to Killings, said that weakness is due to a fractured C-4 vertebra, which is the same injury that Buffalo tight end Kevin Everett suffered several weeks ago. Like Everett, Killings also received immediate spinal cord injury treatments to reduce ligament swelling and prevent paralysis of the limbs. Those treatments, Dr. Parrish said, have led to Killings' strong recovery.

"There's no swelling around the ligaments," Parrish said. "Of course, he was given this spinal cord injury steroid protocol, which is an approved treatment for a spinal cord injury. And that was started within an hour of the injury, so that's a very early to start it."

Despite the positive signs, both Parrish and Lowe said that it was too soon to determine whether the defensive tackle would play football again.

"He's still in the process of recovering from this," Lowe said. "There's still some decisions to make even about whether he needs more medically or not, other than just recovering. So I just think it's premature to even have that discussion."

{QUOTE}Texans players who visited Killings in the hospital were just happy to talk about their teammate's progress thus far.

"That brought a smile to our face because we didn't know what to expect when we went in there," defensive end N.D. Kalu said. "And just to see him smiling and talking about the game, it was good. And his legs were propped up, so we knew he could move. The biggest concern was we hoped he could walk, because you always think the worst. But when we heard that he could walk and everything was fine, we were happy."

The Texans kept their medical team busy Monday, examining the numerous players who have recently suffered serious injuries.

On Sunday, center Steve McKinney tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, which will force him to miss the rest of the season. Rookie Jacoby Jones will be sidelined at least two weeks with a separated shoulder. An MRI exam revealed that running back Ahman Green, who sat out with ice pack for most of Sunday's game, has a bruised knee and will need to be listed as day-to-day. Wide receiver Andre Johnson is still limping on his sprained left knee sprain and will likely miss the upcoming game against Atlanta.

Head coach Gary Kubiak said he couldn't believe how quickly he lost so many of his players, but he wanted the team now to focus on moving forward.

"We've lost a few," Kubiak said. "We've had more than our share right now, but we're going to find a way to fight through it and we're going to be better when it's all said and done."

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