CORONA (CBSLA.com) — A junior football player at Santiago High School continued to recover Monday from critical injuries to his spine suffered during a game over the weekend.
Jordan Walker, 16, suffered neck and spinal cord trauma Friday during a CIF playoff game against Upland High School.
The linebacker reportedly was attempting to tackle an Upland running back when he was hurt. After the play ended, Walker did not get up and was immediately treated on scene by a team trainer and paramedics, according to a witness.
Walker was taken to Riverside Community Hospital before being moved to Loma Linda University Medical Center, where he underwent spinal surgery Saturday.
According to a volunteer on the team and family friend, Walker was slowly breathing on his own and mouthing “I love you” Monday morning.
Walker’s family released a statement, which reads, in part:
“We understand that with any sport, there is the risk of injury. We do not blame or have any hard feelings toward the football players and coaches of Upland and Santiago High Schools.”
The high school has kept fellow students and members of the community updated on his progress through Twitter.
Players held a prayer vigil for their teammate Saturday.
It is unclear how long Walker will have to remain at the hospital.