Doctors say Bills tight end Everett could be walking in weeks

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Kevin Everett will be transferred Friday
morning to a Houston hospital to begin the next phase of his
rehabilitation, less than two weeks after the Buffalo Bills tight
end sustained a life-threatening spinal cord injury.

And doctors said Thursday they believe he will be walking within
weeks -- perhaps sooner.

"Soon ... they're going to stand him up," Dr. Barth Green told
The Associated Press, shortly after discussing Everett's condition
with Bills orthopedic surgeon Dr. Andrew Cappuccino. "They're very
confident he'll be walking very soon ... in the next days or weeks,
not months."

Eric Armstead, a partner of Everett's agent Brian Overstreet,
said Everett was going to Houston's Memorial Hermann Hospital and
would be traveling by private plane.

"I talked to him today, and he's very excited," Armstead said.

The prognosis is remarkable after Everett arrived at Millard
Fillmore Gates Hospital paralyzed from the neck down after being
hurt while making a tackle in Buffalo's season opener against
Denver on Sept. 9. Doctors initially expressed fears Everett would
never walk again.

Green is chairman of the neurological surgery department at the
University of Miami school of medicine and has received regular
updates from Everett's doctors on the player's progress.

"Now that doesn't mean he'll be walking normally, but standing
up and holding his own weight," Green said. "I think the future
for him is very bright."

"He's strong, you all, I'm telling you he's strong," Everett's
mother, Patricia Dugas said. "Kevin's going to get up walking and
take care of his business like he always has. I don't think life is
going to change that much."

Bills spokesman Scott Berchtold said the team had no update on
Everett's status.

Everett makes his offseason home in Houston, where many of his
family members and friends live.

Green suggested Houston would be the best place to move Everett
because it's important for the player to have his family and
friends nearby.

"I love the Buffalo people, and I'll hate to leave them,"
Dugas said. "But it'll be good that we can be closer to home for
all our family to come over and see him because they're worried
about him. ... He wants to see his family, too."

Dugas has been at her son's bedside since a day after he was

"He never asked why. He has a positive outlook about all of
this," she said. "Sometimes I walk around here saying, 'I can't
believe he's smiling like that. ... That's what he give me, peace.
He keeps me strong."

Everett was strong enough to sit up on his own in his hospital
bed this week.

NFL Players Association executive director Gene Upshaw and NFLPA
president Troy Vincent, a former teammate of Everett's in Buffalo,
were scheduled to visit the player Thursday.