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Butler's Clarke 'scared,' but thankful after serious fall

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Senior guard will undergo evaluation tonight

Saturday, January 12, 2013 - 8:57 pm

Butler was able to leave the University of Dayton following its men’s basketball game thankful in a number of ways.

First of all, the Bulldogs (14-2, 2-0 Atlantic 10) earned its second consecutive road win in conference play. However, that pales in comparison to the news that the team received following the game.

Bulldog senior guard was injured during the first half of play, when he came up with a steal and was attempting to score. He was fouled on the shot attempt and crashed into the basket support.

“I feel blessed to be walking,” Clarke said afterward in a release. “When I hit my head, I rolled over and I couldn’t feel anything from my neck down. That’s what scared me the most. My body was just tingling.”

He did not immediately get up, and eventually was taken from the court on a stretcher. He was transported to Miami Valley Hospital, where it was determined that there was no fracture.

“By the time (Butler athletic trainer Ryan Galloy) got out there, I started getting some feeling in my hands,” Clarke said. “After a while, I was fine in my legs.

I’m still sore in my shoulders, and I’ve got a bad headache.”

Clarke was discharged from Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio, and returned to Indianapolis with Butler’s team.

“We’ll take Rotnei for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) tonight,” Butler athletic trainer Ryan Galloy upon the team’s return to Hinkle Fieldhouse. “We’ll have a better feel for the extent of his injury and his recovery period after that.”

The 6-foot guard is in his first season with Butler after transferring from Arkansas last year. He leads the Bulldogs in scoring with a 16.3 average and ranked third in the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring heading into the game at Dayton.