HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - McKenzie Milton is in good spirits while he remains hospitalized at Tampa General in Florida, and told one of his teammates that he was able to take a few steps over the weekend, according to ESPN’s Andrea Adelson.
Milton, UCF’s star quarterback, suffered a gruesome right leg injury in Saturday’s 38-10 win over South Florida. He was carted off the field and rushed into an emergency knee surgery. An official diagnosis of the injury has not been released by the Milton family, although they did provide an encouraging update shortly after the surgery.
Milton’s teammate Jordan Johnson said earlier today that he spoke with Milton over the weekend on FaceTime and that Milton told him he had taken some steps for the first time since his surgery.
Whether or not he was able to walk under his own weight was not revealed.
"I called him to see how he was doing, and he was letting us know that he's there for us," Johnson said. "He wants to see us succeed, so we're out there playing for McKenzie. We want to go out there and win for him. It was all good vibes. I told him it was good to see him smiling. He said that he got to walk the other day, and he never appreciated walking as much."
As Milton recovers, UCF still has its undefeated record to maintain in a crucial matchup against Memphis in the AAC championship game this weekend.
“Everyone in our program has great love and respect for McKenzie and our thoughts and prayers are constantly with him,” said head coach Josh Heupel. “At the same time, we’re gonna go out and play our hearts out. He’ll be a part of who and what we’re doing on the field, there’s absolutely no doubt about that … There’s been an outpouring of support for him, and he’s appreciative, and he’ll fight back,” Heupel said. “The hurdles he’s had to clear up until this point, he’s cleared in typical McKenzie fashion. He hurdles them and does a great job. He’s got more in front of him, but he’s a fighter. He’s a competitor. He’ll be back.”