Price conscious but still battling illness

Updated: October 8, 2004, 11:23 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut freshman guard A.J. Price remained in critical condition in the neurological intensive care unit at Hartford Hospital Friday morning, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Members of the Connecticut staff remained mum Friday on Price's exact condition and didn't want to speculate on his prognosis, citing student privacy laws as well as respect for the Price family. Officials did reiterate that he is conscious and talking. No timetable has been set for his release from the hospital.

Price, who turned 18 Thursday, was admitted to Hartford Hospital Monday after first going to Windham Hospital near the Storrs campus for evaluation for flu-like symptoms. He was flown to Hartford on a helicopter to expedite his care and was put in the ICU.

Price started feeling run-down last Sept. 29 and his condition progressively worsened. He was vomiting and became weak.

Hartford Hospital issued a statement Tuesday saying, "the public should know that he is not contagious and does not represent a public health concern,'' hospital spokesperson Lee Monroe said.

Price's family has been in Hartford all week from Amityville, N.Y. The Connecticut coaching staff has made daily visits to Price's room and has comforted the family.

"This is a time of remarkable uncertainty for the Price family and for everyone associated with UConn and the incredible show of support has been uplifting,'' Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said in a statement Wednesday. "It is with that in mind that I stress that the only concern for the immediate future should be for A.J. and to hope for his complete recovery.''

Price, who led Amityville to two state high school championships, was expected to push sophomore Marcus Williams at the point as the defending champs search for a replacement for the departed Taliek Brown.

The Huskies don't open practice until Oct. 16 and have continued to go through conditioning and individual workouts on campus. But the coaching staff has taken turns visiting the Price family at the hospital. Speculating on a return to the team is moot at this point with all of the attention focused on Price making a full recovery.

ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz contributed to this report. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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