April 10, 2015 / 12:12 AM / 3 years ago

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

(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.”

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

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

Also injured in connection with the incident was Atlanta Hawks forward Thabo Sefolosha, who is out for the season.

In a statement, Copeland, a three-year NBA veteran, thanked his fans, teammates and others for their support and apologized for being out late.

“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. Sefolosha and another member of the Atlanta Hawks, Pero Antic, were charged for trying to prevent police from setting up a crime scene.

Sefolosha suffered a fractured fibula and ligament damage that will require surgery, putting him out for the rest of the season and the entire postseason, according to a statement from the Hawks.

“This is a very difficult situation for Thabo and our thoughts and support will be with him during his recovery,” Head Coach Mike Budenholzer said.

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 and Mary Wisniewski in Chicago; Editing by Mohammad Zargham and Lisa Shumaker

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