NBA player stabbed in New York vows to make 'a full recovery'

Thu Apr 9, 2015 1:36pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Indiana Pacers forward Chris Copeland was recovering at a New York hospital on Thursday after undergoing surgery on his abdomen and elbow from knife wounds and said he would "work hard to make a full recovery."

Copeland, 31, and his former fiancée Katrine Saltara, 28, were stabbed in an incident at about 4 a.m. on Wednesday outside a nightclub in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood.

In a statement, the three-year NBA veteran thanked his "fans, friends, teammates, coaches and the Pacers organization for their support and prayers during this time."

"I also want to apologize to everyone, particularly the NBA and the Pacers for my bad choice at being out at that time," he added. "I am doing as well as can be expected and I will work hard to make a full recovery."

Copeland underwent surgery on Wednesday on his abdomen and left elbow for the stab wounds and was in stable condition on Thursday at a New York City hospital, the team said, adding that there was no timetable for how long he will remain hospitalized.

The man who allegedly attacked Copeland, Shezoy Bleary, 22, was arrested, and two members of the Atlanta Hawks, Pero Antic and Thabo Sefolosha, were also charged for trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene.

A second woman, who was believed to be Bleary's girlfriend, also was slashed in the abdomen during the incident, police said.

Copeland is averaging 6.2 points a game for the Pacers this season.

(Reporting by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

 
New York Knicks' Chris Copeland in May 2013.  REUTERS/Mike Segar