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JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

Walking under his own power, Jason Tucker gingerly stepped in front of a media horde last night and delivered this stunning assessment of how lucky he is.

"(The doctors) are amazed I am on my feet this soon. When they told me - after I saw everything - it was like 80 per cent of the cases that come in like this people would not be on their feet - they would be paralysed," said Tucker, who broke his neck last Friday in Hamilton.

"They are in real awe of it."

HELMET-TO-HELMET

The Eskimos all-star slotback fractured two vertebrae in his neck on a helmet-to-helmet hit with Hamilton defensive back Jykine Bradley on the final play of the third quarter last Friday at Ivor Wynne Stadium.

Tucker remembers the play vividly, but isn't sure what is going to happen to his football career.

"Right now, I am just concentrating on getting better, getting healthy, getting back strong again. That is all on that is on my mind," he said in his first public comments since the injury.

The interview session came in front of nearly 15 microphones just before kickoff.

Wearing a heavy-duty grey neck brace which restricted his neck from moving side-to-side, Tucker spoke in his typical low-key manner with the odd joke thrown in.

"I am a very blessed individual," he said.

"I have seen all the X-rays, all CT scans and the severity of it and I know the Lord was looking out for me that I am able to come in here today and walk in with all the abilities of all my limbs. For the next three months I will have this nice neck brace on. If you would like I can get you one. It is very stylish.

"For three months I can't do nothing. They got to make sure everything heals properly."

After he clears that hurdle, he can begin to rehab.

Not playing again this year, Tucker is heading home to Texas - but will return to help his teammates.

'ONCE AN ESKIMO'

"Once an Eskimo, always an Eskimo," remarked the seven-year member of the Green and Gold. "If they need some extra coaching, somebody to sit down with them (to) watch some extra film, I will be right beside them."

But for right now, Tucker will enjoy his four daughters and try to keep his two-year-old from causing him any further damage.

"All that I have been thinking about is making sure that I do what I need to do to get healthy for my family, so I can go back to be the dad I have been, the husband that I have been," said Tucker.

"It is kind of rough on my two-year-old - she can't do the things that we normally do right now. It kills her.

"Daddy is kind of fragile right now - you got to be carefully with daddy right now."

FINISH LINES: Tucker revealed the hit with Bradley caused his right side to go numb on the field ... Tucker did visit with his teammates before yesterday's game but apparently didn't deliver an emotional pre-game speech. "Just the look in their eyes, I knew they were ready," he quipped.


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