PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) — Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier is giving his first public comments since suffering a serious spinal injury last December.
Shazier, who Steelers’ fans have rallied around since the injury, talked with his Steelers’ teammate, fullback Roosevelt Nix, who has his own podcast.
The podcast was set to come out last week, but was just posted Tuesday evening via Nix’s Twitter account.
Shazier told Nix that he plans to walk again on his own and return to a career that was on the verge of stardom before the injury, one that required spinal stabilization surgery and left him in the hospital for two months.
Shazier tells Nix: “I’ve got to get back. Right now I’m reading a book, and it’s basically saying trust the process. I’m really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, ‘Man, this is crazy. I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ They almost see progression every day.”
Steelers Shazier on his rehab: “I’m really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, ‘Man this is crazy; I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ They almost see progression every day”
— Ed Bouchette (@EdBouchette) February 21, 2018
He’s still got some big goals for himself.
“I’m really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler,” Shazier said. “I’m sorry, because I feel I got snubbed this year for All-Pro even though I got hurt. But I feel like my stats are as good as those who made it.”
Amy Wadas’ Report:
Shazier has been vague about specific aspects of his recovery, though he is quick to point out that he can stand on his own, as he did when the cameras cut to him recently while attending a Pittsburgh Penguins game. Either way, Shazier insists he’ll one day run back through the tunnel at Heinz Field with his No. 50 jersey on ready to get back at it.
“I’m still reaching for that Hall of Fame because I really feel I’m the best linebacker ever,” Shazier said. “I just got to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I’m saying?”
Click here to listen to the full podcast:
Boom !!!!! 👇🏽
— 5⃣Roosevelt nix (@Dat_Dude_Nix) February 21, 2018
Shazier was injured Dec. 4 in a Steelers’ win at Cincinnati.
Earlier this month, he was discharged from the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC Mercy, and transitioned to an outpatient therapy program.
He posted several photos to Instagram, including one of him standing with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.