MIAMI (AP) _ Miami Dolphins guard Randy Wheeler faces surgery to stabilize spinal injuries suffered when he was paralyzed from the neck down in a car crash.

Wheeler is being treated by Dr. Barth Green, co-founder of the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and a world-renowned expert on spinal injuries. He said Wednesday that Wheeler is a quadriplegic.

Wheeler, 23, remained in serious condition Wednesday and was scheduled for surgery Thursday at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital to stabilize his spinal column and allow him to sit up and begin rehabilitation.

More will be known about Wheeler's prognosis after the operation, a hospital spokeswoman said. He has agreed to participate in paralysis research programs.

Wheeler was driving in the rain Monday from his home in Hartsville, S.C., for the start of training camp when his sport-utility vehicle slid off Interstate 95, overturned and hit a tree near Palm City.

He was wearing a seat belt, but suffered cervical and thoracic spinal fractures. His mother, aunt and uncle flew from South Carolina to be with him at the hospital.

The 315-pound Wheeler played at South Carolina and was on the Dolphins' practice squad last season.