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Mankato assault victim Kolstad 'holds' 2-week-old daughter

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Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State University, Mankato football player who was seriously injured in a Mankato assault, is showing the ability to interact with his family more, including his two-week-old daughter, Malia.

Kolstad, who is now on medication that's less sedating, is making consistent eye contact, returning kisses and reaching out to touch Malia when she's placed on his chest, Mike Fleming, Kolstad's brother-in-law, wrote on his CaringBridge page Saturday.

"Isaac consistently reaches up with his left hand and 'holds' her. He has even patted her back and rubbed her little hand," Fleming wrote.

Kolstad is also doing daily standing exercises, and with assistance from his physical therapists, he's "able to bear weight for short periods of time," Fleming says.

Fleming also says that Kolstad is healing well from last week's bone replacement surgery and he'll get bandages and stitches removed from his head soon. During the procedure, doctors replaced a bone flap that was removed from Kolstad’s skull on May 13 due to major brain swelling.

Last week Fleming said Kolstad was also visited by a speech therapist, who placed a "speaking valve in Kolstad's trach," and are encouraging him to talk.

Kolstad, 24, has been hospitalized since the May 11 assault outside a Mankato bar. Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson, 20, of Mankato, and Trevor Shelley, 21, of St. Peter, have been charged in connection with the assault.

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