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Man who was allegedly assaulted by former Minnesota QB Philip Nelson now 'walking up to 200 feet' in therapy

Sam Cooper
Dr. Saturday
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In this May 11, 2014 booking photo provided by Blue Earth County Jail, Philip Nelson, 20, is seen. The former Minnesota Gophers quarterback was arrested in Mankato, Minn., early Sunday, May 11, 2014, on suspicion of third-degree assault. Former Minnesota State, Mankato, linebacker Isaac Dallas Kolstad was in critical condition Monday after an alleged assault involving Nelson. (AP Photo/Blue Earth County Jail)

The man who was allegedly assaulted by former Minnesota quarterback Philip Nelson in May has been showing significant improvement.

According to the Mankato Free Press, Isaac Kolstad, a former Minnesota State University football player who suffered traumatic brain injuries in the incident, is now out of a coma and has been “walking up to 200 feet a day” with assistance at a rehabilitation clinic. He has also “started to motion with his left hand” and snap his fingers when he wants someone’s attention.

Kolstad’s wife, Molly, posted on her husband’s CaringBridge page that Kolstad “alert” at times and has been “tracking people, noises, and objects.” Kolstad has also been having “episodes of anxiety and agitation.”

Molly Kolstad wrote in an entry dated July 1:

“There are times when Isaac is confused and he can have episodes of anxiety and agitation. During the anxiety episode's we see the most activity out of Isaac. He wants to get out of the bed, he wants to pull himself up, and he makes noises, sometimes even vocalizing what we believe is “no”. These episodes, while difficult to control and watch, also show us that Isaac is becoming more aware of his surroundings and there is a drive inside of him that he wants to start doing things to get better on his own.”

Therapists are doing standing and stretching exercises with Kolstad to help rebuild his strength as he completed two hours of therapy per day. He has also been relearning ways to care for himself.

“Isaac has started to help feed himself ice chips, take off his own socks, and pull on his shirt and shorts,” Molly Kolstad wrote.

Additionally, the fluid that accumulated on the left side of Kolstad’s brain has “decreased significantly” and he won’t require “any further procedures or surgeries.”

In the incident that occurred in downtown Mankato, Minn., on May 11, Kolstad suffered a fractured skull and severe brain injuries which required many surgeries. Nelson and another man, Trevor Shelley, were charged for with assault charges in the incident.

Shelley reportedly punched Kolstad in the head, immediately knocking him out. Kolstad’s head hit the pavement as he fell, and then Nelson allegedly kicked Kolstad in the head as he lay defenseless on the ground.

Nelson, who played two years at Minnesota, transferred to Rutgers in January. Following the alleged assault, Nelson was kicked off the Rutgers team by head coach Kyle Flood on May 13.

Nelson and Shelley are reportedly facing a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

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Sam Cooper is a contributor for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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