Neck pain still a problem after fall in November

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Injured New Mexico guard Senque Carey is expected to have surgery at the end of January to remove two disks between vertebrae in his neck.

Carey plans to travel home to northern California in a few weeks to prepare for the procedure, which will be done Jan. 27 at Stanford University.

Carey has been living with neck pain since falling in a game Nov. 25 and suffering a spinal cord injury. He was paralyzed from the waist down for nearly two weeks after the fall but has regained full use of his legs.

Carey said doctors at Stanford recommended the surgery.

''I thought about it, and it's something I had to have down the line if I was going to play again,'' he said.

He said he wants to continue a basketball career, but does not know whether he should end his play in college or ask the NCAA for a medical hardship season, giving him an extra year of eligibility.

New Mexico coach Ritchie McKay said he's open to asking the NCAA for another season but will leave the decision to Carey. Carey also would have to be cleared by UNM doctors.

''That's something I have to sit down and really think about,'' Carey said. ''I know I want to play again. I just don't know if I want to play in college.''

Carey said he will be in a neck brace for two months and will have to undergo rehabilitation therapy for a year to a year and a half after surgery.

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