Paralyzed Rutgers Player in "Good Spirits"

Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano leans over defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (52) as personnel prepare to take him from the field after colliding with Army's Malcolm Brown (23) as he tried to make the tackle during the second half of a football game Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, in East Rutherford, N.J. Rutgers won 23-20 in overtime. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)
AP Photo/Mel Evans
Paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand is responsive and aware of the difficult road ahead.

Coach Greg Schiano did not update LeGrand's medical condition on Tuesday, but he said the junior defensive tackle was in 'good spirits.'

Pictures: Paralyzed Rutgers Player Eric LeGrand

The Scarlet Knights practiced on Tuesday, their first full-contact workout since LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after making a special teams tackle against Army on Saturday.

After the workout, Schiano said the team was focused for Saturday's game at Pittsburgh, which is what LeGrand would want them to do.

Penn State coach Joe Paterno also said Tuesday that he spoke with Schiano over the weekend and advised him to be available for LeGrand. Paterno went through a similar injury in 2000 when Adam Taliaferro was injured. He walked eight months later.

At a press conference Monday, LeGrand's doctors at Hackensack University Medical Center emphasized that the next 72 hours are critical for the fate of the promising young man from Avenel, N.J.

Next 72 Hours Critical for Eric LeGrand

Doctors stabilized his spine in emergency surgery on Saturday and are now waiting for the swelling to subside to determine the extent of damage.

"It's not necessarily going to change how we treat that patient," said Roy Vingan, the hospital's neurosurgery trauma chief. "But more what we can tell the family of the prognosis of recovery."

Stories of recovering from spinal cord injuries can be both inspiring and devastating. Some, after years of therapy, are able to regain some motion. Others never move again and are at risk of life-threatening infections.