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David Wilson advised not to play football

Check out the top photos of RB David Wilson

Giants running back David Wilson was advised today by Dr. Russell Warren, the team's physician and former surgeon-in-chief for the Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), and Dr. Frank Cammisa, chief of spine service at HSS, that he should no longer play football. Wilson will be placed on injured reserve for the 2014 season.


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"Dr. Frank Cammisa Jr., our spine specialist at  HSS   examined David this morning and following that exam, we both sat down and shared our perspective with David," said Dr. Warren. "David has diffuse cervical stenosis. He had a disc removed and a fusion in January.  In light of last week's episode of symptoms, sensory and motor, Frank and I both told David he should not play football any more. We let David know that by playing, he would be putting himself at risk for more episodes like last week or perhaps something more serious. "

Wilson, the Giants' 2012 first-round draft choice out of Virginia Tech, was forced to leave practice last Tuesday after suffering a burner, which caused numbness in his hands and lower extremities, symptoms he displayed when he suffered his original neck injury last October 6 against Philadelphia. Wilson underwent a battery of tests Tuesday night at HSS and was scheduled for an exam and evaluation by Cammisa for this morning.

"I don't want anybody to feel sorry for me, or pity me," said Wilson. "I lived my dream. A lot of people only get to dream their dream. I lived that dream. Now I have a chance to dream another dream and live that, too."

After his 8 a.m. appointment at HSS, Wilson returned to the Giants Quest Diagnostics Training Center offices early this afternoon and met with president John Mara, general manager Jerry Reese and coach Tom Coughlin.

"David and I had a great talk," said Reese. "He's disappointed like all of us, but he's a strong young man and understands that he has a lot of life left to live and it's not worth to him, his family or us to put his health in harm's way by continuing to play football."

"I'm thankful that I can literally walk away from the game and that I am healthy and capable of doing the same things I have done all my life, except play football," said Wilson. "I always try to find the positive in everything. This morning when I saw Dr. Cammisa and Dr. Warren, I didn't hear what I wanted to hear, but I expected that what they told me could be a possibility. I had played out both scenarios in my mind. I prayed this morning before I went to see them that they would tell me what God would tell me. He put His answer in them to relay to me."

"The whole idea for David is that he fulfilled his dream," said Coughlin. "Even though his career was cut short, he remains positive and believes God has a plan. He has accepted this in such a way that is a great example for all of us. There is no self-pity. David is a strong person and extremely optimistic. He will meet his next challenge in life with the same enthusiasm he approached football."

Wilson played in only five games in 2013 before the neck injury. Although he hoped to return to the field, he was inactive for three games before being placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 7. He underwent surgery, a fusion of the vertebrae, on January 16 to repair the herniated disc in his neck. The procedure was performed by Dr. Cammisa.

Wilson's abbreviated 2013 season included 44 rushing attempts for 146 yards and a touchdown (a five-yarder in his final game, vs. Philadelphia on Oct. 6), two catches for eight yards and nine kickoff returns for a 24.7-yard average.

His loss was significant for an offense that struggled to gain yards and score points, as well as the kickoff return unit. As a rookie in 2012, Wilson accounted for 1,925 all-purpose yards, the sixth-highest total in team history, the most ever by a Giants rookie and the most for any Giant since Tiki Barber had 2,127 in 2006. His 1,533 kickoff return yards led the NFL and set a Giants record, breaking the former mark of 1,291 set by Domenik Hixon in 2009. Wilson's 26.9-yard kickoff return average was sixth in the NFL. He also rushed for 358 yards and four touchdowns and caught four passes for 34 yards and a score.

"Growing up, ever since I was eight years old, I wanted to play in the NFL," said Wilson. "It was my dream. And I can't say that I didn't live my dream, because I did. I played for the New York Giants. I was a first round draft choice of the New York Giants. I scored touchdowns. I caught touchdowns. I returned kicks for touchdowns and I set records. So I got to do some of the things I dreamed of doing all my life."

Wilson said that his current condition will require no additional surgery or therapy.

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