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Coach: No surgery needed for Bonani



USF sophomore kicker Maikon Bonani, recovering in a Tampa hospital from a 35-foot fall on Saturday, will not need surgery on the cracked vertebra in his back, his high school coach said Thursday.

Lake Wales coach Rod Shafer said Bonani has been fitted with a back brace that should allow the vertebra to heal over the next six to eight weeks, leaving open the possibility of him returning to football this season.

"We thank the Lord for that, and now we can just focus on letting him get healed properly," said Shafer, who said Bonani has been up and walking around with the brace.

Bonani was due to have another magnetic resonance imaging exam, Shafer said and if that goes well, the 20-year-old could be released from St. Joseph's Hospital as early as today.

Bonani fell from the SkyRide at Busch Gardens while working as an attendant on the ride; he had tried to stop a moving gondola with an unlocked door, and hung from it for about 50 feet before letting go and dropping to a landscaped area near the park's Jungala section.

[Last modified: Thursday, May 27, 2010 6:49pm]


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