Just before he was due to graduate high school Wednesday, Madison High School star linebacker and Cal Bears recruit Chris Fatilua suffered a ‘significant and serious’ spinal cord injury.
In a statement the Fatilua family released Wednesday night through Cal’s football team, the family said the 6-foot-2, 220-pound linebacker suffered the spinal cord injury Monday afternoon in San Diego.
“He is receiving treatment for his injury and his long-term prognosis is unknown at this time,” the statement reads.
The following statement is being provided on behalf of the family of 2018 incoming freshman Chris Fatilua. pic.twitter.com/qAtVDqpwn6
— Cal Football (@CalFootball) June 14, 2018
The family did not say how Fatilua was injured and asked for privacy to focus on his recovery.
Fatilua committed to Cal on Feb. 7 and was set the join the program this summer where he is expected to be a force on the team’s linebacking core. In his three-year varsity career at Madison, Fatilua totaled 226 tackles (29 for loss) and three sacks. He helped lead the Warhawks to Division 2-AA state and Division I San Diego section titles as well as a 13-2 overall record in 2016.
“Our hearts and minds are with incoming freshman Chris Fatilua and his family at this difficult time,” Cal coach Justin Wilcox said in a statement. “The most important thing to focus on right now and in the immediate future is Chris’ recovery.”
Wilcox said the school will continue to support the Fatilua family “in every way possible” now and when Fatilua is ready to join the program, a sentiment that was backed by Cal’s athletic director Jim Knowlton.
“The Cal Family will be with him and his family every step of (t)he way,” Knowlton said on Twitter.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Chris and his family during this difficult time. Our main focus is on Chris’ health and his recovery. The Cal Family will be with him and his family every step of he way. https://t.co/5nRu2VzrCn
— Jim Knowlton (@ADCalBears) June 15, 2018
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