Eric LeGrand makes public appearance

Updated: February 22, 2011, 4:59 AM ET
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com

Eric LeGrand -- the Rutgers defensive tackle who suffered a spinal cord injury in a game against Army in October and remains paralyzed -- made his first public appearance since his injury on Saturday night.

"I just want to thank everybody for coming out here today and I'm just gonna keep on chopping during my rehab," LeGrand said at a comedy fundraiser for the "Eric LeGrand Believe Fund" at the Louis Brown Athletic Center at Rutgers.

Rutgers spokesman Jason Baum did not know on Monday how much money was raised over the weekend. The event, which approximately 3,000 attended, featured Rutgers alumnus Bill Bellamy.

It was LeGrand's second trip back to campus -- he also attended the football team's first meeting of the new year in January.

LeGrand has also returned to school via videoconference -- he's taking a class on "Blacks and Economic Structures."

LeGrand remains paralyzed below the neck. The Avenel, N.J., resident fractured his C3 and C4 vertebrae while making a head-first tackle on a kickoff in the win over Army at New Meadowlands Stadium.

LeGrand has regained movement in his shoulders and is experiencing sensation throughout his body. He is undergoing rehabilitation at Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J.

Kieran Darcy is a staff writer for ESPNNewYork.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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