Steelers LB Ryan Shazier has feeling in legs, says father

Ryan Shazier's father says the injured Pittsburgher Steelers linebacker now has feeling in his legs

Shazier suffered a serious spinal injury against the Cincinnati Bengals in the NFL on December 4, and has been recuperating from a spinal stabilisation surgery two days later.

Vernon Shazier told Pittsburgh's WPXI News that his 25-year-old son is improving.

"He's making progress daily," he said. "He's a long way from where he was on Monday night."

On whether Ryan Shazier is walking yet: "I don't want to go into it a whole lot," his father said. 

The Steelers have not elaborated on the surgery Ryan Shazier underwent, or his prognosis.

But outside analysts have said if it involved a fusion procedure, full recovery could take up to six months.

Vernon Shazier got emotional when recalling that moment last month when his son called him after the injury.

"He said, Daddy, pray for me. I can't feel my legs,'" Vernon Shazier said.

"When your child is laying there in a situation like this, I was hoping and wishing i could switch positions with him."

Ryan Shazier made his first public appearance recently at Heinz Field, attending the Steelers' game against Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots.

Vernon Shazier, who is an NFL chaplain, told WPXI that faith is helping the family through the crisis.

"I laid my hands on the shoulder of the doctor and I prayed for him," he said.

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