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Utah State’s Danny Berger hopes to play basketball again

Dec 8, 2012, 9:32 AM EDT

Danny Berger, Spencer Butterfield

Less than a week after collapsing on the floor at practice, Utah State junior forward Danny Berger expects to play basketball again.

According to the Associated Press, the Utah State junior plans on suiting up again for the Aggies and is anticipating on being in attendance for Saturday’s game against Western Oregon after being released from the hospital.

Berger, a 6-foot-7 forward at Utah State, went into cardiac arrest during Tuesday’s practice, lost consciousness and stopped breathing. It wasn’t until the one of the team’s athletic trainer used a defibrillator to get him to start breathing again.

“If I everything goes right, it seems like I’ll have a full recovery,” Berger told the media on Friday.

Doctors have inserted a small defibrillator underneath Berger’s skin in his chest that would kick into action and restart his heart if it stops again. His left arm will remain in a sling for three weeks because of the defibrillator. After that, doctors say he should be cleared to play again.

Doctors explained that Berger should be able to play again without a problem, as many college basketball players have played with a defibrillator.

Dr. Jared Brunch was amazed with the quick response by the entire Utah State program, especially the assistant athletic trainer, Mike Williams, who used the defibrillator only minutes after Berger collapsed. Brunch went on to mention the importance of AEDs within athletic and recreational buildings. The AED was reportedly donated to Utah State as part of a foundation set up by former NBA forward, Ryan Gomes.

Berger said Williams didn’t have the device on top of the water cooler like usual, but team manager Jesse Parker sprinted up a tunnel at the basketball arena and brought it back down to the court quickly. Parker is Berger’s roommate.

In the meantime, Utah State and BYU are planning on rescheduling the game that was postponed following  Berger’s incident.

Utah State is currently 4-1. Berger was averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game in 22 minutes a night for the Aggies.

Terrence is also the lead writer at NEHoopNews.com and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

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