Former Gophers QB 'did not cause' attack victim's brain injury, doctor says


A forensic expert has said that a kick delivered by former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson probably did not cause the brain injury suffered by college footballer Isaac Kolstad following a fight in May.

A second opinion from a doctor hired by prosecutors in the case against Nelson has said that the injury inflicted on former Minnesota State-Mankato player Kolstad, which left him in a coma for weeks, is more likely to have been caused by a punch thrown by another defendant, Trevor Shelley, FOX 9 reports.

The analysis by Dr. Michael McGee will now form a major part of a motion from the defense to get charges against Nelson reduced, the news station says.

"My overall impression of this case is that the majority and possibly all of the injuries described in Mr. Kolstad are related to the initial punch to the street surface," McGee concluded, according to the Pioneer Press.

"While Mr. Nelson may be responsible for some of the above-described injuries, based on the information provided, I am unable to state to a medical certainty that this is the case."

Kolstad was injured following a fight in downtown Mankato on May 11, which is alleged to have started when Nelson mistook him for a bouncer who had flirted with his girlfriend earlier that night, the newspaper says.

During the altercation, Kolstad was punched and fell to the ground, hitting his head, after which Nelson is alleged to have kicked him in the head.

Kolstad, now 25, in December spoke out for the first time of his recovery from the attack, which left him in a coma and has since seen him require physical and speech therapy.

Nelson and Shelley have been charged with first and third degree assault, while Nelson was kicked off the Rutgers football team, to which he had transferred from the University of Minnesota, the Star Tribune notes.

The evidence from Dr. McGee follows a report by a doctor caused as a defense expert in August, which also concluded that the punch from Shelley is likely to have caused much of the injuries, the newspaper says.

Nelson's attorney, Jim Fleming, told the Mankato Free Press Dr. McGee's report should result in charges against the quarterback being reduced as soon as possible.

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