A statement was issued Friday on Facebook by Kaitlyn Leask, Johnson’s fiancee, and she wrote that the 38-year-old heavyweight is able to stand after undergoing two surgeries. Johnson was injured after being on the receiving end of an ugly first-round knockout courtesy of Mo De’Reese on Aug. 30.
Leask’s statement is as follows (h/t Ariel Helwani):
As most of you know, last Thursday Leroy suffered a severe spinal injury during his fight in Atlantic City. This has been the most terrifying week of our lives. Leroy went through two surgeries to stabilize the broken bones and we’ve been waiting on the swelling to go down to see what’s next.
Leroy is a fighter and the strongest man I know, this afternoon he was able to stand! We have a long road, but we know all of our friends and family are praying for us. God is good all the time! #leroystrong
A previous statement from manager Daniel Rubenstein indicated that the first surgery was to address a vertebrae that had slipped out of place and the second to deal with high blood pressure issues.