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McGahee expected to make full recovery after helmet-to-helmet hit

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Ravens running back Willis McGahee is expected to make a "complete recovery" from a fierce helmet-to-helmet hit in the AFC Championship Game that saw him carted off the field.

McGahee returned to his Baltimore home Monday after spending the night in a Pittsburgh hospital recovering from Sunday's collision with Steelers safety Ryan Clark.

The play occurred in the fourth quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-14 victory, and McGahee was carted from the field on a stretcher.

"It is expected that Willis will have a complete recovery from the head and neck injuries he suffered last night," Ravens spokesman Kevin Byrne said Monday.

Although McGahee had significant neck pain, he had movement in his arms and legs after the hit. He was taken to UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and held overnight for observation. He was released early Monday morning and back home by early afternoon.

McGahee had just caught a pass and taken two steps before being met by Clark, who drove his helmet into McGahee's facemask. McGahee's head snapped back, and he lost the ball as he dropped to the ground.

Clark also collapsed, though it was immediately apparent that his injury wasn't serious.

Players from both teams gathered around McGahee, who lay motionless before being taken away.

"I started getting a little emotional when I saw him down there and the cart was coming out. That's the nature of this rivalry," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said after the game.

Starting at tailback in place of the banged up Le'Ron McClain, McGahee ran for 60 yards and two touchdowns.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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