It may be weeks or even years before doctors fully understand the severity of Walker’s football injury and how likely his recovery might be, said Dr. Arthur Jenkins, who specializes in studying and treating spinal injuries at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.

“It also could be years before his final degree of neurologic recovery becomes clear,” Jenkins told ABC News. “Even severely neurologically impaired patients can improve function over a long time period.”

“The severity of the injury is determined by the amount of tissue damage that is permanent,” he added.

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