Michigan State freshman defenseman Branden Carney Sustains Serious Neck Injury

Jamie Baldwin

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan State freshman defenseman Branden Carney (Battle Creek, Mich.) sustained a serious neck injury in hockey practice at Munn Ice Arena on Thursday afternoon.

Carney, a 19-year-old freshman defenseman, was participating in drills during the Spartans’ Thursday practice session when he went head-first into the dasher boards. He was transported to Sparrow Hospital for treatment. 

Carney has feeling, movement, and strength in all of his extremities, and will continue under the care of neurological surgeon Dr. Charles Bill.

Carney’s father, Russ, is the Associate Head Coach for the MSU volleyball program. Russ Carney will miss this weekend’s volleyball games at Iowa and Nebraska. Russ Carney was on campus and able to be with his son shortly after the accident occurred. 

“We fully support Branden, Russ, and the entire Carney family during this difficult time, and all of our thoughts and prayers are with Branden for a full recovery,” said Athletics Director Mark Hollis. “I’d like to thank all of our medical and support staff for their incredible work on Thursday, as well. Branden has been a member of our hockey program for a short time, but has been a part of the larger Spartan Athletics family for much longer. We’re expecting that Branden will approach his upcoming recovery with the same passion and character he’s shown as he pursued his hockey career.”

“Our program is committed to support Branden and his family as he goes through the recovery process,” said head coach Tom Anastos. “This is a scary injury, but he’ll receive top-notch medical care, and we’ll be sure that everything is in place for him to receive the help and support he needs in the weeks and months ahead. Right now, we’re going to focus on supporting him and his family in the coming days as they assess his immediate needs and treatment.”