Boy needs 30 stitches after being struck on sideline

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A 4-year-old boy who was
inadvertently blitzed by a college football player during a game
has 30 stitches in his head, but he's recovering well, his father
said Tuesday.

"It was kind of scary 'cause I got bonked by the football. It kind of hurted."
-- 4-year-old Caden Thomas

It was the spring youth football festival at Colorado State on
Saturday, and Caden Thomas was wandering along the sidelines with
his father during the team's intrasquad game. They were near the
end zone when wide receiver George Hill, trying to catch a
touchdown pass, didn't see the boy in time and crashed into him.

"Well, there's the sickening thud," Caden's father, Michael
Thomas, said Tuesday. "I was just tremendously worried about the
rest of his life. You make automatic assumptions there will be some
damage when you see something that horrific."

The team's trainer and doctor rushed in to help Caden as his
father held him and Hill waited nearby, worried about the little
boy. Caden was bleeding from a deep cut on his head, but he was
conscious, and his neurological exams were normal.

"He was saying he wanted to go home," Thomas said. "I think
he had a pretty good idea that this was going to require a trip to
the hospital, and he was none too excited about that prospect."

"To see he bounced back so quickly was really a blessing," he

A plastic surgeon stitched up the little boy's head at the
hospital and sent him home.

The next day, Caden got a call from Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick.
He also got a football signed by the team, Thomas said. Caden
himself talked a little bit about what happened.

"It was kind of scary 'cause I got bonked by the football,"
the boy said, hugging his own football. "It kind of hurted."