Illinois has offered up yet another update regarding a player who suffered a significant injury earlier this month.
Illini true junior defensive end Bobby Roundtree sustained what was described as a severe spinal cord injury in a swimming accident May 18 and underwent surgery a day later. It was subsequently reported that Roundtree was progressing well following the surgery and, while he remained hospitalized, was speaking, eating and sitting up.
Wednesday evening, the football program stated in a release that Roundtree still remains hospitalized at a facility near his home in Largo, Fla. Multiple members of the football program, including head coach Lovie Smith, “spent last week in the Tampa area while supporting the Roundtree family before returning to Champaign [Tuesday].”
“Bobby continues to have a positive spirit and intends to fight hard during his recovery,” Smith said in a statement. “He has a long road ahead during his recovery and we will be there to support Bobby and his family the entire way.”
From the release:
The Division of Intercollegiate Athletics has identified an internal working group to coordinate the finest medical and rehabilitation care possible for Bobby and is in daily contact with his medical staff in Florida. Plans are for Bobby to return to Champaign-Urbana and the UI campus at the appropriate time in his recovery process.
Roundtree has started 20 games the past two seasons since coming to Illinois as a three-star member of their 2017 recruiting class. This past season, the 6-5, 245-pound end led the Illini in tackles for loss with 12.5 and pass breakups, and was second in sacks with 7.5 and quarterback hits with four.
For that performance, the media named Roundtree honorable mention All-Big Ten for the 2018 season.