Details on Ryan Shazier’s condition have been understandably sparse since his spine injury suffered exactly one month ago today. For the first time since the injury that Monday night against the Cincinnati Bengals, Shazier’s father, Vernon, sat down with WPXI’s Lisa Sylvester to talk about his son.
Mr. Shazier said Ryan called him minutes after arriving at the hospital with news no parent wants to hear.
“I can’t feel my legs,”
Shazier stayed at a Cincinnati hospital for several days before being transported to Pittsburgh. He wound up needing spine stabilization surgery and has been physically rehabbing ever since. He’s been well enough to make two appearances at Heinz Field, the crowd roaring each time he was shown on the Jumbotron, Terrible Towel in hand.
Though Mr. Shazier did not want to go into many details about his son’s condition, saying “we agreed to keep his progress private until he’s ready to share where he’s at,” he offered a couple of hopeful pieces of information about his condition.
He confirmed Shazier now has feelings in his legs.
“He’s making progress daily. He is a long ways from where he was.” Mr. Shazier said, adding “he’s much better.”
Talk about playing football may be a long ways away, the focus instead on getting Shazier healthy and fully recovered for a normal life. But Mr. Shazier was optimistic about his son being able to suit up for the Pittsburgh Steelers again,
“Yes,” he responded when asked if he thought Shazier would play football again. “I Shalieve, I Shalieve,” invoking the popular hashtag used to support his son.
WPXI just posted the interview, which you should definitely check out here. They will be airing more of their interview with Mr. Shazier tonight at 11 PM/ET for those in the Pittsburgh viewing area. We’ll also update with that story when it becomes available.