UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton posted a video on Instagram documenting the latest step of his remarkable recovery from a catastrophic knee injury that nearly led to the amputation of his leg.
Milton leg pressed 40 pounds using his injured leg, demonstrating the progress he has made since a hit during UCF's win at USF on Black Friday dislocated his knee and caused nerve damage. Milton has been through at least four surgeries and extensive rehabilitation as he pushes to recover.
Milton posted the leg press video on his Instagram account Wednesday night with a message that read, “Thanking God for the miracles I see everyday in my life. Went from almost losing my leg to leg pressing 40lbs in a little over a month. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. God is definitely at work..it’s gonna be a long process but it’ll be one hell of a story.”
Milton’s mother, Teresa, provided an additional update as her son’s Instagram post was shared widely.
She wrote in response to a message by CBS Tampa sports director Ryan Bass, “Update for Mckenzie..the rehab is to help him keep range [of] motion. Keep the knee moving gain his strength, fight the scar tissue and work on the nerve damage. He is getting ready for the upcoming surgery on January 25. Keep the prayers coming ! Mahalo 10hana”
UCF coach Josh Heupel said in late December he has no doubt Milton will recover from the leg injury that could have ended his career.
Milton’s swift recovery from each surgery and more frequent visits to the UCF football complex, along with his ability to join the team for its trip to the Fiesta Bowl, has bolstered the Knights’ confidence he will be able to play again.
“Absolutely, there's no doubt in my mind that McKenzie will be back on the football field playing at a really high level,” Heupel said during Fiesta Bowl media day.
“It was a traumatic injury. Everybody across the country saw that when it happened. He's got a bunch of hurdles to still clear to get back on the football field, but everything that has unfolded [with the multiple surgeries he’s already had] has pretty much been best-case scenario. He's well on his way back to rehabbing it and getting better and being in position to eventually get back on the football field.”
Veteran UCF tight end Michael Colubiale said it was special to see Milton participate in bowl activities with his teammates after mostly being restricted to his hospital room or apartment for weeks after the injury.
“Having him being around the team and around his brothers again just means so much to us and means so much to him too because he was isolated from us and it was kind of hard for him to be away from the team that he is the leader of,” Colubiale said. “Just having him back and bring around has boosted the morale a lot.”