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Ole Miss LB Nkemdiche ‘improved,’ won’t play vs. LSU

Denzel Nkemdiche’s condition has “improved,” though Ole Miss’ senior linebacker won’t play against LSU on Saturday, according to a joint statement issued by his parents, Beverly and Sunday Nkemdiche, and head coach Hugh Freeze Thursday afternoon.

“Denzel’s condition has improved as of today, and he will remain in the hospital,” Nkemdiche’s parents and Freeze said in the statement. “His well-being is all that matters right now, and we are making sure he receives the highest level of medical care.  While his condition is not life-threatening, he will not play this weekend.”

Nkemdiche was admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford earlier this week for undisclosed reasons and is being held in the hospital’s intensive care unit. When reached by phone Wednesday afternoon, a hospital spokesperson told the EAGLE nobody by that name was shown to have been admitted to the facility, though patients’ names can be removed from the hospital’s registry to remain private at their request.

Freeze said after the Rebels’ practice Wednesday that Nkemdiche, the older brother of All-American defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, was dealing with “a personal matter that he and his family are kind of going through” without getting into specifics.

“We’re going to walk through it with him,” Freeze said.

Neither Nkemdiche’s parents nor Freeze said when or if he would play again this season. Nkemdiche leads the Rebels with 53 tackles.

“We thank the Ole Miss family for their concern and encouragement, and we appreciate everyone respecting the family’s privacy during this time,” they said.