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University of Mississippi free safety Roy Lee...

University of Mississippi free safety Roy Lee (Chuckie) Mullins remained in critical condition after five hours of spinal surgery, and doctors said it was unlikely he will regain the use of his arms and legs.

Mullins, 20, was paralyzed from the shoulders down when he broke his neck Saturday as he crashed into Vanderbilt receiver Brad Gaines while trying to break up a pass at the two-yard line.

Clarence Watridge, a surgeon at Baptist Memorial Hospital, said Mullins suffered four fractured vertebrae. Watridge and fellow surgeon Marvin Leventhal operated on Mullins to realign his twisted spine and fuse the broken vertebrae.

Watridge said it was too early to estimate Mullins’ chances of regaining the use of his arms or legs, but he said the probabilities of such a recovery are slight.

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The doctors said Mullins was able to breathe without a respirator, but was being closely watched in case he lost that ability.


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