LB Neiron Ball improving but still hospitalized

By Adam Silverstein
February 17, 2011

Updated Feb. 18 at 12:15 a.m.

Florida Gators freshman linebacker Neiron Ball continues to receive treatment in the Intensive Care Unit at Shands Hospital after a blood vessel ruptured in his brain on Monday but will be moved out of ICU and into a standard hospital room on Friday, his high school coach told The Gainesville Sun.

Ball, a special teams standout this past season who registered 10 tackles in 13 games, has been ruled out of spring practice. The severity of his condition and the amount of recovery time doctors deem necessary for him to be 100 percent healthy will determine if and when Ball can return to the field. He is expected to make a full recovery.

The University of Florida’s University Athletic Association, which disclosed on Monday that Ball was in the hospital being treated for a congenital vascular condition, has yet to release any additional information. However, the Palm Beach Post’s Jason Lieser has been updating his condition all week and the Sun’s Robbie Andreu filed an additional report Thursday evening.

On Wednesday, the Post reported that doctors were able to stop the bleeding and have prevented his brain from swelling. Though it is currently unknown what – if any – aftereffects there may be from the health scare, Ball’s family and friends have noted that his condition has improved.

“He’s out of life-threatening mode,” Mike Parris, Ball’s former head coach at Jackson High School, told the Post. “There isn’t any imminent danger. They’re just trying to let it heal.” Parris also spoke with the Sun. “He’s doing OK. He’s having headaches. He’s scared more than anything,” Parris said. “Other than that, he’s doing pretty good. I think he’s going to be fine. The doctors told his family he is out of a life-threatening situation.”

Natalie Myricks, Ball’s older sister, is hopeful that he everything will be OK. “He’s doing fine; he’s doing better,” she said, according to the Post. “The people at Florida and Shands have been 100 percent helpful and great to us.” Myricks sent an e-mail to the Sun further praising the assistance from Shands and UF. “We appreciate the care that the doctors at Shands Hospital are providing. The support of the coaching staff at the University of Florida has been phenomenal,” she said.

“Thank you for your prayers and concern.”

A continuous stream of friends, teammates and coaches have been visiting Shands to check on Ball, OGGOA has learned from a pair of readers who work in the hospital but wish to remain nameless. It will likely be quite a while before anything definitive is known about Ball’s health one way or another. We continue to wish him a speedy recovery.

Photo Credit: Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

12 Comments

  1. Gatorbuc15 says:

    This is great news. I hope he recovers well enough so that he can continue to play football.

  2. John S says:

    Glad they were able to successfully stop the bleeding, I will definitely keep him and his family in my prayers.

  3. Ken says:

    Wow, hope he gets better. I had something like this happen to me a long time ago, and it took about a week for me to be stable enough to operate, then another week in the hospital to recover. it then took about 3 months before I was back to relative normal. Alot depends on where in the brain it burst and how much it bled, though. And of course, fortunately, technology is much better today than when it happened to me

  4. GG says:

    Good thing he was at UF (Shands) when this happened so he gets top notch care. Forget the football side of things, could have saved his life!

  5. Ken says:

    Hey Adam, unrelated to this story, but injury nontheless. Is there any word on how Chandler Parsons is doing?

  6. jay d says:

    The gators need you…stay possitive…this experiance will help you grow as a person!!

  7. npgator says:

    Tht is very good news – this is the first site I look at each day for updates on Neiron so thanks for the great work Adam. My continued prayers go out to Neiron for a full and speedy recovery.

  8. UF Alum says:

    @Ken — LOL, practicing this week? We’ll be lucky to get him back this fall… if he can even play ball again. This is an extremely dangerous condition and a lot of the time it’s career-ending.

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