ST. LOUIS -- Mississippi State freshman guard Nick Weatherspoon was taken from the court on a stretcher Friday night after taking a foot to his face/neck area while he was on the floor in the second half of an SEC tournament quarterfinal game against Tennessee.
Weatherspoon was taken to Barnes-Jewish Hospital for further evaluation. He had movement "everywhere" and pain in his hip and back, a Mississippi State official told ESPN.
On Saturday morning, the team tweeted that Weatherspoon was out of the hospital. He is slated to return to Starkville with the team Saturday afternoon.
The school initially feared that Weatherspoon suffered a neck injury, but by late Friday night the concern had shifted to his pelvic bone. An MRI was scheduled to see if there was a fracture. Weatherspoon did not suffer a concussion, the school said.
Mississippi State also tweeted a video of Weatherspoon thanking fans for their support.
Weatherspoon, who is averaging 11.1 points per game for the Bulldogs, initially went down after driving to the basket and missing a layup attempt. He appeared to fall hard on his hip and remained still on the floor while play went on at the other end of the court. When play came back his way, Quinndary Weatherspoon, Nick's teammate and brother, went up for a contested layup, and a foot from Tennessee's Kyle Alexander appeared to land on the face/neck area of Nick while he was lying on the baseline underneath the basket.
Bulldogs coach Ben Howland said he understood why play wasn't stopped by the officials due to the flow of the game.
"I was just trying to play for him, play with a lot of energy like he did," Quinndary Weatherspoon said of continuing to play without his brother.
He added: "I was happy that he's moving well, talking and asked about the score of the game. That let me know he was all right."
Trainers put a neck brace on Weatherspoon and lifted him onto a stretcher as members of both teams gathered around him.
Mississippi State trailed Tennessee 31-28 at the time of the delay. The Volunteers went on to win 62-59.
The SEC released a statement later Friday night, expressing "its sincere concern for Nick Weatherspoon and his family and prays for a full and rapid recovery" and appreciating "the quick response of the sports medicine staff and EMS personnel."
"The play on which Nick Weatherspoon was injured unfolded in a rapid sequence of events that led to the continuation of play after Nick initially fell under the Mississippi State basket," said Mark Whitehead, SEC coordinator of officials. "The officials did not recognize Nick was injured until after the transition that led to the completion of the play where, unfortunately, he remained on the floor."