WATCH: Status update of injured Southern U. player Devon Gales

WATCH: Status update of injured Southern U. player Devon Gales

ATLANTA (WTVM) – A press conference regarding the injured Southern University football player that was hit while playing the University of Georgia last weekend will be held on Thursday.

According to our sister station WAFB in Baton Rouge, doctors treating Gales will give an update on his condition at 1:30 p.m. ET in Atlanta.

Gales, a 21-year-old redshirt sophomore wide receiver from Baton Rouge, was injured during the third quarter of a 46-6 loss to the University of Georgia in Athens on Sept. 26.

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Since the injury on Sept. 26, both the UGA and SU officials and athletic departments have worked together in ensuring Gales and his family have been taken care of.

The UGA fan base and team have rallied around Gales with messages of prayers and support.

"Mr. Gales and his family are appreciative for the outpouring of support from the Southern University and University of Georgia communities and others, but have requested privacy at this time," the UGA Association said in its most recent press release.

Following surgery on several spinal fractures at Athens Regional Hospital on 27, Gales was transferred to the Shepard Clinic in Atlanta for rehabilitation. The Shepard Center is a private, nonprofit hospital for spinal cord and brain injuries. Gales does have movement in his upper body following surgery.

SU's president and chancellor issued an open-letter to UGA, their fans and coaching staff on Wednesday. The letter reads:

An open letter to University of Georgia Athletic Director Greg McGarity, Head Coach Mark Richt, UGA officials, and the entire UGA community

A history-making Southern University Jaguar football game on the road against nationally ranked University of Georgia Bulldogs in Athens, Georgia, Saturday, September 26, 2015, has exemplified the true nature of sportsmanship, caring, and generosity.

During the third quarter of play in the Jaguars' first match up against a Southeastern Conference team, SU wide receiver Devon Gales suffered a spinal injury.

Devon underwent successful spinal surgery Sunday afternoon at Athens Regional Medical Center and is in good spirits. 

From the moment of the accident, UGA and SU sports medicine staff worked side by side to tend to the injured SU player until he was taken off the field and transported to Athens Regional Medical Center.

UGA Athletic Director Greg McGarity immediately coordinated plans with SU Athletic Director Roman Banks for Devon's care and support that included covering expenses to fly the student-athlete's parents to Athens, Georgia, to be by his bedside.

At the medical center following the game, SU Head Coach Dawson Odums and members of the Jaguar Football team gathered with UGA Head Coach Mark Richt, other members of the UGA coaching staff, and team chaplains, to visit Devon.

The UGA community has joined the Jaguar Nation in an extraordinary outpouring of prayers, love, and support for Devon and his family.

While Devon's road to full recovery may be long, we are grateful for the prayers and excellent medical care and treatment that resulted in his successful surgery and improvement thus far.

The extent to which the UGA officials and community have embraced our student-athlete is remarkable and it speaks volumes to their character and kindness. 

I must also commend the UGA community for its hospitality shown to our athletic staff, team, and fans in and around Sanford Stadium. From excellent accommodations, to a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, we were pleased.

On behalf of the Southern University System and the Southern University Department of Athletics, I extend a huge thank you to UGA officials, students, and alumni, the UGA community, and the Athens Regional Medical Center, for their care and support of Devon.

Best wishes,

Ray L. Belton
Southern University System

SU has initiated the Devon Gales Fund to help his family pay for his medical expenses. If you wish to donate, click here for more information.

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