Minor-league football player undergoes surgery after injury in Turlock game

A player on a minor-league Merced County football team underwent surgery Sunday after breaking his neck and damaging his spinal cord during a game Saturday at Turlock High School.

Gustine resident David Delgado was airlifted to an area hospital after suffering the injury as his team, the Merced County Jets, played Fresno’s Cen-Cal Sol. “He won't be walking anytime soon,” Jets co-owner Manvir Basra said on the gofundme page set up to raise money for Delgado. “Physical therapy will be needed and only time will tell if he will fully recover.”

Jets head coach Charles Washington said Monday that he was on the far side of the field from where the injury occurred and hadn’t yet seen film of the play. “David went low, and if he caught a knee in the head or what, I don’t know. The next thing we know, he’s on the ground.”

There was a lot of commotion on the field because it was the end of the play, Washington said, and it took a few seconds before anyone realized Delgado was injured. “We made him stay down, we didn’t move him or anything,” the coach said. That’s standard precaution when a play has suffered a head, neck or back injury, Washington said.

He said he’s spoken to Delgado by phone and would see him in the hospital Monday night.

On Facebook, Delgado’s aunt Connie Brown Dutra asked for prayers for Delgado and said he broke his neck and damaged his spinal cord.

“It's going to be a difficult road for David and his wife, Lesley,” Basra wrote on the gofundme page. “If you can help in any way, it will be greatly appreciated. If you can't financially, then just please keep David and Lesley and the family in your prayers.”

Deke Farrow: 209-578-2327