09/16/2011 05:06 EDT | Updated 11/16/2011 05:12 EST

Highly touted prep quarterback has part of leg amputated after scrimmage injury

ORANGE, Va. - A highly touted prep quarterback at a private school in Virginia has had part of his right leg amputated after suffering an unusual injury during a scrimmage.

Officials at Woodberry Forest School, located about 50 kilometres northeast of Charlottesville, say Jacob Rainey suffered a severe knee injury on Sept. 3 and it was later discovered the main artery in his leg had been severed. Rainey underwent surgery on Saturday at Fairfax Inova Hospital — a week after the injury.

The junior, who was being recruited by several schools from major conferences, remains hospitalized.

The high school says a review of the play shows that the tackle on Rainey was clean and that he received prompt and appropriate medical attention.

Cathy Eberly, a Woodberry spokeswoman, said Friday that the Rainey family is distraught and at their request, the school would not be releasing any more information at this time.

Woodberry coach Clinton Alexander was en route to the team's game Friday night and unavailable to comment. However, he wrote on a website devoted to the school's athletic programs that the events leading up to the injury and what followed "seem like a distant memory."

"Our program has turned its focus on embracing Jacob and his family and doing all we can to support and encourage them," Alexander wrote. "I am so proud of the courage Jacob and our players have shown. The Woodberry Forest family has extended so much love and support that it has created a sense of belonging and pride that is beyond explanation."

He said the outpouring of support from outside the school also has been overwhelming.

University of Virginia coach Mike London called it a "tragic injury" and said his "thoughts and prayers" were with the player's family. He did not name Rainey when making his comments because of NCAA regulations.

"Wins and losses are important," London said, "but sometimes the realities of what's really important are the young men and the family members and the sons that we are responsible for."

Virginia was among the schools recruiting Rainey.