Mankato assault victim Kolstad prepares for another major surgery

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Isaac Kolstad, the former Minnesota State University, Mankato football player who was seriously injured in a Mankato assault, is showing signs of improvement after being treated for a blood clot, according to a post on his CaringBridge page.

Mike Fleming, Kolstad's brother-in-law, said in the post that doctors plan to finish treatment for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a blood clot that can occur when someone is bedridden such as in Kolstad's case – and then begin prepping him for surgery to replace part of his skull before he moves on to rehab.

Doctors had to remove that bone flap from Kolstad's skull on May 13 due to major brain swelling following his first brain surgery. Fleming said the swelling in his brain has decreased to near normal, so doctors can replace the bone flap, which was "kept sterile and secure in [Kolstad's] abdomen."

"Isaac's care team continues to be positive and are anticipating the replacement of the bone flap and starting of rehab will bring more daily improvements in Isaac's condition," Fleming wrote. "Our family is excited for this movement forward, and are anxious to see Isaac continue to make strides towards recovery."

Kolstad was in a medically induced coma immediately after the May 11 assault. About two weeks later, doctors said he was breathing on his own, though still in a coma.

On June 3, Fleming said Kolstad responded to commands from doctors, giving them a thumbs-up when asked.

Just last week, his family said he made "exciting" steps in his recovery. Fleming posted on Kolstad's CaringBridge page that “His wife called using Face Time on the iPhone one night. He tracked his eyes and looked at her while she talked, then he reached up and grabbed the phone and pulled it in. It took two people to get his grip off when Molly had to say good night.”

On June 4, his wife, Molly, gave birth to the couple's second daughter, Malia Mae Kolstad.

Kolstad, 24, was hospitalized May 11 following an 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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