Southern wide receiver Devon Gales moved to Shepherd Center in Atlanta for next phase of his treatment _lowres

Southern head coach Dawson Odums looks on as Southern wide receiver Devon Gales is tend to in the second half of an NCAA college football game against Georgia Saturday, Sept. 26, 2015, in Athens, Ga. Gales was placed on backboard and taken off the field on a cart. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Southern wide receiver Devon Gales was admitted to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta on Wednesday to begin the next phase of his treatment for a severe spinal injury he suffered last Saturday in a game against Georgia.

Gales, who underwent surgery for several neck fractures Sunday at Athens Regional, was admitted to Shepherd Center’s Spinal Cord Injury Unit “for evaluation, care and observation,” Southern said in a statement.

On Thursday, Gales, a third-year sophomore from Baton Rouge, is scheduled to begin “a rigorous rehabilitation program under the guidance of a full team of medical and rehabilitation specialists,” the statement reads.

Shepherd’s team of specialists typically consists of “an attending physician, nurse, occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech language pathologist, recreation therapist, case manager, peer support specialist, nutritionist and psychologist,” according to the statement.

Southern and Georgia officials have worked hand-in-hand since Gales was injured while blocking on a kickoff return during the third quarter of the Jaguars’ 48-6 loss to Georgia in Athens.

The teamwork between the institutions prompted Southern to release a letter that SU Systems President-Chancellor Ray L. Benton sent to Georgia officials Wednesday.

The letter was addressed to Bulldogs athletic director Greg McGarity, coach Mark Richt, UGA officials, and the entire UGA community. In it, Benton said the cooperation between the two institutions “exemplified the true nature of sportsmanship, caring and generosity.”

The letter also stated:

“While Devon’s road to full recovery may be long, we are grateful for the prayers and excellent medical care and treatment that resulted in his successful surgery and improvement thus far.

“The extent to which the UGA officials and community have embraced our student-athlete is remarkable and it speaks volumes to their character and kindness.”