Doctors happy with surgery

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

Jason Tucker has passed the first major hurdle on his road to recovery.

The Edmonton Eskimos star receiver has had neck surgery and is recovering in a Hamilton hospital.

The four-hour operation happened late Saturday night after Tucker suffered two fractured vertebrae in his neck on a hit during a play in last Friday's game against the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton.

"(He) came out of the recovery room about midnight and the neurologist was very pleased with the way the surgery went. So, he is on the mend, really," said Eskimos president and CEO Rick LeLacheur.

"He is sitting up, now. I think the next move (is) to get him out of bed and start walking.

"They will do some further tests to ensure the alignment is OK with his vertebrae and then (it) is just a matter of getting him strong enough and getting his system back working so that we can get him back to Edmonton."

The club is hoping Tucker can come back to this city by the end of the week.

"I think he is pleased (the surgery) is behind him now," said LeLacheur late yesterday afternoon from the Hamilton area.

"We just picked up his wife at the airport.

"Just brought her to the hospital and he is very happy to see her and their little baby."

The Eskimos actually paid for Tucker's mother to come from Texas to Edmonton late Saturday to take care of their three oldest girls.

That allowed the club to pay for a flight for Tucker's wife Giesla and their youngest baby girl to come to Hamilton.

But while it took an understandable two days to see a family member at his side, Tucker has been handling the hospital experience in typical quiet style.

"The first thing you notice, he just never complains," continued LeLacheur, who was supposed to travel home with the Eskimos on Saturday morning but stayed to be at Tucker's bed-side.

"Even that first night they had to pry it out of him that he had some pain."

Tucker will not play again this year.

It's unclear if he will ever play again.

But if Tucker can return to Edmonton and walk into the Eskimos locker-room at Commonwealth Stadium on Thursday night just before kickoff against the B.C. Lions (8 p.m., CHED, TSN), it would be a huge emotional lift for the players hitting the field.

JONATHAN.HUNTINGTON@SUNMEDIA.CA

"(HE) CAME OUT OF THE RECOVERY ROOM ABOUT MIDNIGHT AND THE NEUROLOGIST WAS VERY PLEASED WITH THE WAY THE SURGERY WENT."

ESKIMO PRESIDENT AND CEO RICK LELACHEUR ON THE INJURED JASON TUCKER


Videos

Photos