BYU player attacked while working as missionary in Australia

Updated: October 15, 2008, 9:37 PM ET
By Andy Katz | ESPN.com

BYU basketball player Chris Collinsworth is recovering in Sydney, Australia, after being stabbed while working as a Mormon missionary on Tuesday night.

BYU coach Dave Rose said Collinsworth is expected to make a full recovery.

The 6-foot-9 Collinsworth played in all 35 games for the Cougars last season. He averaged 15.9 minutes, 3.2 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Mountain West Conference champs as a freshman. Collinsworth played 19 minutes off the bench, scored two points and had four rebounds in the Cougars' 67-62 first-round loss to Texas A&M in the NCAA tournament in March 20.

Collinsworth's father, Jeff, said from his Mapleton, Utah, home that his son told him that he and his companion on the mission, David Ferguson, were walking in Sydney when they were jumped by a pack of men. Jeff Collinsworth said a scuffle ensued with both his son and Ferguson being stabbed multiple times. He said Chris' shirt was pulled over his head and he was stabbed in the back. The fight ended when a car came up behind the fight and the driver turned on his lights and honked his horn.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Ferguson was stabbed in his hand, tendons were cut and he required surgery. Jeff Collinsworth said that his son did not require surgery. There were, however, stab wounds close to his son's kidney so multiple scans of his internal organs were conducted to ensure that he didn't have any internal injuries.

"His hands were cut up a bit, too," Jeff Collinsworth said. "It was close enough to his kidney to do a CAT scan but none of the organs were torn or punctured."

Chris Collinsworth was released from the hospital Wednesday and told his parents he was ready to get back to missionary work, his mother, Alisa, said.

Rose said he expects Collinsworth to return to the Cougars' basketball team when his mission ends in two seasons. Jeff Collinsworth said his son is determined to stay and complete his missionary work.

Andy Katz is a senior writer at ESPN.com. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Andy Katz | email

Senior Writer, ESPN.com