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After suffering life-threatening injury, Wood pushes forward and returns to field

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BRADENTON – Cedric Wood described the nerve damage and the pain in his right hand.

Not just a career-threatening injury.

“It could’ve been a life ending one, honestly,” Wood said. “But I thank God that I’m still here and I still have full use of my hand. I’m just glad to be back at it.”

The Florida State defensive lineman opened up about his injury for the first time Wednesday morning. Wood missed the 2018 season after what he said was an off-the-field accident.

“I severed a major artery and 10 tendons,” Wood said. “It hurt. I had nerve damage.”

Wood said he was diligent with going to a physical therapist each week at first but now goes a couple days per week. He feels more confident, mentally and physically, and says, “I can do everything.”

At times Wood, who played at nearby Tallahassee Godby High, tried to insulate himself from discussing the injury as he was around the city. But his teammates and defensive line coach Odell Haggins were always there supporting him.

“We supported Ced 100 percent ever since the accident happened,” defensive lineman Dennis Briggs said. “Everyone has always been behind him, pushing him every day. Now he’s actually back, it’s just great to see. Football is his passion. For him to continue to do that is just really wonderful to see.”

Wood has often been working with the first-team defensive front in FSU’s practices. With Marvin Wilson (knee) out for the time due to injury, Wood’s contributions have been noticed.

“He’s definitely stepped up,” defensive lineman Cory Durden said. “We like the stuff that we’re seeing from him. We’re going to need him. It’s good to see him step up, especially considering the stuff that he’s been through. It just makes me happy to see him step up and finally get his chance.”

Wood said he may have given up football if not for Haggins, who “kept pushing me even when I didn’t have any push left.”

Now, Wood is hoping to provide a push and help FSU’s defensive line in 2019. What did he learn from his time away from the field?

“To be patient,” Wood said. “That’s really what it is. Before that, I was always in a hurry to do things. But now, I’m patient and I thank God for that.”

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