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Doctors confident Bills' Everett will be walking very soon

BUFFALO, N.Y.-- Kevin Everett's doctor plans to have him stand up on his own soon, and believes the Bills tight end will be walking within weeks - or sooner.

"Soon, in Buffalo or in Houston, 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."

The past 11 days for Patricia Dugas, the mother of Kevin Everett, have been challenging, to say the least. Seeing her son suffer his cervical spine injury on live television was a traumatic experience.

"I was scared," Dugas said. "I was worried to death. I was talking to the TV saying, 'Kevin get up.' And then I thought, I've got to get to him."

Dugas has been by her son's side ever since and has been floored by the outpouring of support from Buffalo and Western New York. **More from ...**

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."

Despite numerous requests, the Bills have provided few regular updates of Everett's status since he was hurt and were not immediately available for comment Thursday.

Everett is expected to be transferred to a hospital in Houston by this weekend to begin the next step of his rehabilitation. 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.

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.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved

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