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UCF's McKenzie Milton has nerve damage, faces reconstructive surgery

UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton not only sustained a traumatic right knee injury against South Florida, he also injured a nerve and had blood flow issues as a result, his family said in a statement released Tuesday.

Milton was hurt when he took a helmet to his knee while scrambling, and his leg bent at an awkward angle. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he remains.

On Tuesday, his family provided more detail about the severity of the injury for the first time while thanking doctors, nurses and trainers "for their prompt attention" to Milton's injuries. He underwent immediate surgery to repair the blood flow problems Friday night, but he will have reconstructive surgery to repair his knee at a later date.

"His blood flow has been restored to his right leg and his nerve is injured but intact," the family said in the statement. "He is recovering and healing and is receiving the best medical care. At a later time, he will have reconstructive surgery to repair his knee.

"... McKenzie and our entire family are so touched and grateful for the prayers, support, and well wishes. McKenzie is in good spirits and has a very positive attitude. He looks forward to cheering on his teammates in their quest for another conference championship this Saturday."

No. 9 UCF (11-0) must beat Memphis in the AAC championship game on Saturday to clinch a spot in a New Year's Six bowl game.

The Knights have dedicated the remainder of their season to Milton, who was able to participate in the quarterback meeting Tuesday morning via video conference from his hospital room.

The school announced it will give out 40,000 leis to fans attending Saturday's game in honor of Milton, who was born in Hawaii.