TAMPA, Fla. - The University of Central Florida is hosting the American Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday -- without the team’s star quarterback.
McKenzie Milton suffered a serious knee injury during the team’s rivalry game against the University of South Florida last week.
His family released a statement saying he suffered nerve damage, but the nerve is intact.
It’s good to be home. ⚔️ https://t.co/APdJoyXFtY— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) December 1, 2018
Milton posted to Instagram for the first time since injuring his knee and undergoing surgery last weekend.
"More than a game...God is great in all circumstances. Love my brothers," he wrote in the post.
Officials with Tampa General Hospital said Milton is in "good" condition following his leg injury during Friday's game.
During the team's last regular-season game of a so-far perfect season, Milton was carted off the field.
The injury happened during the second quarter of the team’s rivalry game versus the University of South Florida.
Milton's family said Monday that he remains at the hospital in good condition.
UCF head coach Josh Heupel, who held a regularly scheduled news conference Monday, declined to answer questions about Milton's injury, but called him a fighter.
With Milton out, the Knights will turn to red shirt freshman Darriel Mack, who already started one game this season, helping UCF beat East Carolina University in October.
A social media campaign is encouraging fans to wear Hawaiian shirts and leis at the team's game this weekend. UCF said it has ordered 40,000 leis, which will be handed out to fans before the Knights face the University of Memphis Tigers on Saturday. Watch the game live on WFTV Channel 9.
Milton's family released the following statement Tuesday:
"On behalf of our son, McKenzie Milton, and our family, we want to thank the doctors and nurses at Tampa General Hospital and the University of South Florida and UCF medical staff and athletic trainers for their teamwork and prompt attention to McKenzie's injuries.
His blood flow has been restored to his right leg and his nerve is injured but intact. He is recovering and healing and is receiving the best medical care. At a later time, he will have reconstructive surgery to repair his knee. That date has not been determined at this time.
McKenzie and our entire family are so touched and grateful for the prayers, support, and well wishes. McKenzie is in good spirits and has a very positive attitude. He looks forward to cheering on his teammates in their quest for another conference championship this Saturday.
At this time, McKenzie would like to maintain his privacy to get the proper rest, medical care, and healing before he grants any interviews. We appreciate everyone's understanding of this request.
Knight Nation is part of our Ohana and we feel very blessed as a family.
Well Knight Nation we are still processing all this . But one thing I know is this ! One truth Our Lord and Savior is in Charge and he has a plan for KZ and all the Knight Nation! Thank you for the prayers great thoughts and well wishes !— TeresaMilton (@milton6teresa) November 25, 2018
We will keep you posted ! Charge On
Just spoke to officials from Tampa General again and the Milton family has authorized them to give out an update on McKenzie. They say that he is in “good” condition.— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) November 24, 2018
Sources confirmed to me last night that Milton went through surgery, following his injury. #UCF pic.twitter.com/MB6iH70pAI
Sources close to the UCF football team told Channel 9's Christian Bruey that Milton went through surgery to repair his knee Friday night.
No official information regarding the severity of the injury has been reported.
UCF is set to host the American Athletic Conference championship game Dec. 1.
The Knights defeated the Bulls, completing their second undefeated regular season in a row.
Social media lit up with well-wishes for Milton following the play.
Great respect for a great player. Our sincerest wishes for all the best for McKenzie Milton. 🙏— USF Football (@USFFootball) November 23, 2018
Say a prayer for @UCFKnights QB McKenzie Milton. Devastating injury.— Greg Warmoth WFTV (@GWarmothWFTV) November 23, 2018
Very classy by @USFFootball and its fans as Milton is carted off. Fans chanting “UCF” and cheering as the Bulls players clap for the injured QB.— Christopher Heath (@CHeathWFTV) November 23, 2018
#UCF will take a 17-3 lead into the locker room. I'd say the team has responded extremely well to the injury to Milton. Mack looks in control at QB and the defense continues to play solid.— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) November 23, 2018
Jesse Palmer on the halftime show said this injury to Milton has "implications all across college football."#UCF— Christian Bruey (@CBrueyWFTV) November 23, 2018
© 2019 Cox Media Group.