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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Despite all the challenges Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier has been through since his injury, his spirit is like no other, and with that spirit and determination, he’s hopeful he will one day be able to step back out onto Heinz Field.

“Every day I’m getting a lot better and just thanking the Lord,” Shazier said while attending the Ireland Funds gala honoring the late Dan Rooney on Saturday.

Shazier is a fighter and his positivity is contagious.

“Pretty much every day I go to South Side Hospital. We just work on rehab. Just work on different things to try to work on my balance and things like that,” he said.

Shazier underwent spine stabilization surgery in December for an injury he sustained during a Steelers game in Cincinnati. He was discharged from the hospital almost two months later.

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He is hopeful he will not only walk again, but play again.

“I’m taking it one step at a time, but I know the Lord,” Shazier said. “He has a plan for me, and I definitely feel like I’ll be back out there.”

He says he’s keeping a positive attitude, but it hasn’t been easy.

“Every day is tough, but we just try to take one step at a time in this journey,” Shazier said.

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The support of Steelers Nation, his family and hospital staff is what’s allowing him to keep going.

“I know a lot of people say I’m an inspiration to them, but honestly the support I’ve been getting has allowed me to just stay positive and be able to push through every day also,” Shazier said.

He hopes his determination will set an example for other athletes going through a similar fight.

“I know some days are harder than others, but it’s not a sprint. It’s a marathon, and you just gotta continue to push,” Shazier said. “I feel like the more positive you are, the easier it is for you to deal with the situation you’re in and the easier it is to continue to push through.”

While Shazier wants to eventually get back on the field, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert says that won’t happen in 2018.

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