Late Monday night, L.A. sports anchor Curt Sandoval reported on Stafon Johnson’s recovery from a weightlifting injury: “USC’s Stafon Johnson won’t play this year after freak accident - but IS expected to make a full recovery!”
Sandoval added on-air that the emergency surgical procedure lasted seven hours and “could’ve cost Johnson his life.”
While it was left unsaid, the implication of a “full recovery” is that Johnson will play football again.
The L.A. TIMES reports that a source close to the family said “surgeons had planned to realign Johnson’s larynx and they were hopeful that he would regain his voice.”
More background info on Johnson’s injury and condition after the jump.
UPDATE (9:08pm PT): “As of 9 p.m. tonight, Stafon Johnson remains in surgery for the throat injury suffered late Monday morning.” - USC football blog USC RIPS IT.
UPDATE: Here’s a link to new video of USC Coach Pete Carroll talking about Stafon Johnson’s serious neck injury suffered while weightlifting this morning. Carroll confirms that Johnson’s condition is not life-threatening.
If you can’t see the video, here’s a transcript of Carroll’s comments.
UPDATE: WeAreSC.com has a note posted from a board-certified head and neck surgeon (Otolaryngology) who is not privy to details of Johnson’s condition but is able to present the likely scenarios facing Johnson in emergency surgery.
UPDATE: Official USC football site USC RIPS IT reports Stafon Johnson is currently in emergency surgery after suffering a neck injury in a weightlifting accident this morning. When Johnson was injured, he did have a spotter when a bar slipped out of his hand “at an angle.”
More from USC RIPS IT:
Johnson, a senior from Compton, was bench-pressing with a spotter in Heritage Hall’s weight room when the bar slipped out of his right hand and fell at an angle onto his throat. USC’s athletic trainers and emergency personnel rushed to the scene, and Johnson was taken to a local hospital, where he’s currently undergoing surgery on his throat.
Head strength and conditioning coach Chris Carlisle, who was within 10 feet of the incident, said he was shocked something like this could happen.
“I’ve seen players have the bar slip and fall onto their chest, but never in my 25 years of coaching have I heard of someone dropping a bar on their throat,” Carlisle said. “We’re fortunate he was being spotted.”
“It was an unfortunate accident and Stafon is getting great care right now,” Coach Pete Carroll said. “We don’t have a lot of information at this point and we’ll keep everyone updated, but our thoughts and prayers are with Stafon.”
The bench press is commonly regarded as one of the safest exercises in the weight room, especially with a spotter, Carlisle said. An assistant strength and conditioning coach was spotting Johnson this morning.
Johnson’s recovery time from surgery is unknown at this time.
Weightlifting throat Monday morning bench pressing with spotter. bar slipped out of rt hand and fell out of his hand at an angle.