By Andrea Cohen and Mike Baldwin
STILLWATER - Oklahoma State sophomore receiver Artrell Woods sustained what is believed to be a serious back injury during a voluntary weightlifting session Friday morning.
The injury, which several sources said is not life-threatening but could be career-ending, is believed to be a fractured vertebrae. Sources said Woods underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours, but they did not know the outcome of the surgery.
Woods was doing a standard step-up lift with about 100 pounds of weight on his shoulders.
Sources said it was a “freak accident” during a drill designed to build leg strength. According to sources, Woods lost his footing, went forward and hit his knees on the step, then fell backward. It is a lift that is not done with a spotter.
Woods was taken out of the weight room on a stretcher and treated at Stillwater Medical Center before being flown to Mercy Hospital in Oklahoma City.
Strength and conditioning coach Rob Glass was present at the workout but declined comment. The majority of the football staff, including coach Mike Gundy, are on vacation this week and will return to work Monday.
OSU assistant athletic director for media relations Kevin Klintworth confirmed Woods was undergoing treatment and evaluation in Oklahoma City, but would not address rumors that Woods has already undergone surgery.
Klintworth said more will be known about Woods’ condition over the weekend.
Unrelated to the Woods brothers from Millwood, Artrell Woods is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound sophomore from Bryan, Texas, who arguably was the offensive MVP of this spring’s Orange-White game.
After hauling in four catches for 111 yards and two touchdowns in the spring game, Woods was considered the leading contender for the No. 2 receiver spot opposite All-Big 12 receiver Adarius Bowman.
Really, really bad luck. Anyone familiar with back injuries? I just want to know that this guy can lead a normal life again. That said, it really sucks that he was hurt like this. He was a up-and-coming superstar. Very, very highly recruited out of high school, he was a Ted Ginn-clone in build and speed, although his open-field moves weren’t as good as Ginn’s. He was a 10.1 100-meters guy- no one could cover him one-on-one when he went deep.