Agent, father: Giants' Jones has successful leg surgery after crash

New York Giants rookie safety Chad Jones underwent more than seven hours of surgery Friday in New Orleans to repair a broken left leg and ankle that he sustained when his sport-utility vehicle smashed into a pole, NFL.com's Steve Wyche reported.

Jones appeared to have nerve damage in his leg, but doctors' initial diagnosis is that amputation -- a concern throughout the day after the morning accident -- won't be needed, the player's agent, Rocky Arceneaux, told Wyche.

"I don't see that based on the type of athlete that Chad is that anything would prevent Chad from walking. And from running, " Arceneaux told the Times-Picayune on Friday.

Jones definitely won't play this coming season, but it's too early to say if his injuries are career-threatening, Arceneaux told Wyche.

"The surgery was successful," Jones' father, Al, told The Associated Press after emerging from the hospital. "The rehab is going to take a while."

Jones, 21, was in surgery at LSU Public Hospital from midmorning until late afternoon. His father said the major concern related to improving blood flow around the left ankle and that it appeared doctors were able to address that.

"Chad is a fighter," Al Jones said. "That's why he's at this point and stage in his life, and he's going to continue to fight. ... One way or another, Chad's going to be just fine."

It wasn't clear what caused Jones to lose control of his vehicle at about 6 a.m. on a six-lane thoroughfare with a streetcar line on the west side of New Orleans, police spokeswoman Shereese Harper said.

Jones was extracted from the SUV, but the two other men riding with him were fine, Harper said. She said it was too early in the investigation to know if Jones was speeding, and police will run toxicology reports to see if alcohol was a factor in the accident.

Arceneaux told The AP that he spoke to the passengers, who said Jones was in the far left lane and abruptly turned the wheel to get his tires off the streetcar tracks' grooves. The vehicle then rolled into a pole that carries an overhead electrical wire powering the streetcar line.

The concrete base of the pole was cracked and broken. The pole was scuffed but remained standing, and the streetcar line reopened after the site was cleared.

The driver's side of the SUV appeared to have been violently compressed, according to people who saw the wreckage before it was removed.

"It was so crushed in," said Liz Lapre, who works across the street from the accident site. "I kept looking at it like, 'Did they make it? Did they survive?'"

Bobby Johnson, the store's co-owner, took a photo of the wreckage, unaware at the time that the vehicle belonged to Jones.

"I took a picture just because you don't see a car every day that bashed up," he said. "The whole driver's side was caved in."

Giants spokesman Pat Hanlon issued a statement from the team late Friday afternoon.

"We continue to gather information on Chad's condition, and obviously our primary concern is for his health and well being," the statement said. "(General manager) Jerry Reese and his staff have maintained contact with Chad's family throughout the day."

The Giants drafted Jones, a heavy-hitting, play-making safety from LSU, in the third round two months ago. Jones was part of the Tigers' 2007 national championship team and also was a left-handed relief pitcher -- whose fastball surpassed 90 mph -- for the LSU baseball team that won the 2009 College World Series. Known affectionately as "Dreadlocks of Doom" by teammates and LSU fans, Jones was drafted by Major League Baseball's Milwaukee Brewers two months after the Giants selected him in the NFL. He signed with the Giants last week after participating in a mandatory minicamp.

Jones' parents were in Dallas when they were notified of the wreck Friday morning. They drove all day to reach the hospital in the evening.

During the nearly eight-hour drive, Jones' parents received numerous calls and text messages from friends and relatives offering their support.

"I just want to thank everybody that reached out to us and prayed for us," Al Jones said. "It made the ride a little easier. It really did."

Al Jones said his son was still heavily sedated, but he opened his eyes when he heard his mother's voice and was aware of his parents' presence.

Chad Jones' brother, Rahim Alem, a former LSU teammate and rookie defensive lineman with the Bengals, was trying to get a flight to New Orleans from Cincinnati, his father said.

More than a dozen people had gathered at the hospital to see Jones. Most declined comment, and reporters were asked to stay off hospital property.

Among the visitors was former LSU teammate Marlon Favorite, a defensive lineman and fellow New Orleans native who had just returned home Thursday night from a workout with the Indianapolis Colts.

"As I was getting calls about the accident from teammates and seeing the images of his vehicle, it was getting a little hard for me to cope with it because Chad's like my little brother," Favorite said. "His family and our family, we've been knowing each other since we were in high school. ... On the field and off the field, he's just a great kid."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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