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Ryan Shazier discharged from UPMC rehab institute

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They aren't playing in the Super Bowl, but the Pittsburgh Steelers received some welcome news on Thursday.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center announced that linebacker Ryan Shazier has been discharged from the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute and will "transition into an outpatient therapy program through the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services."

A post shared by Ryan Shazier (@shazier) on

"I've had a lot of 1st downs at UPMC, but you know being the defensive guy I am, my mind is on 3 and out. With that being said, I want everyone to know that I'm moving on to the next step of the process. Today's a big day for me as I'm officially being released from the hospital.

I want to take a moment to thank the people who have helped me the past two months. First and foremost, I want to thank God because at the end of the day I don't think I'd be making progress without His vision and hands protecting me and my family. I will continue to trust in Him and thank Him, because it all starts with Him.

To my family: you've been my rock. Words can't express how thankful I am for you Michelle, RJ, Mom, Dad, and VJ for always being there for me. You're my everything.

To Jerome: my trainer and best friend. Thank you for being there from day 1 and every day after continuing to push me to be better every day.

I'd like to thank Dr. Okonkwo, Dr. Harrington, Dr. Maroon, and Dr. Schroeder for their amazing work on my procedure and continuous care. I can’t appropriately express how grateful I am for how quickly you've helped me bounce back.

I want to thank the medical staff at UPMC for their amazing care, support and therapy they have given me- especially Joe, Nikki, Karolina and Dani. I know the staff will continue to help me find a way to keep on pushing as we continue therapy.

The support from my teammates has been truly amazing. From former players to current players and their families- they have helped me and my family day to day with visits and gifts. We can't thank you enough. I want to thank Mr. Rooney, Coach T, Mr. Colbert, and the entire Steelers organization for the unwavering support they've given me. I knew they were an amazing organization, but more than ever they're family to me.

Lastly, I want to thank Jimmy, Candice, and the CAA Sports staff for being here when I need them most. I don't know if I'd be where I’m at or making the progress I'm making without you guys.

I want everyone to know that all of the support and prayers are absolutely being answered. I will continue to work hard and push and find a way back. #Shalieve#Steelers #prayfor50"

Shazier suffered a scary, season-ending spinal injury in December during Pittsburgh's Week 13 win over the Bengals. The 25-year-old Pro Bowler underwent spinal stabilization surgery, which is expected to require months of rehab.

Shazier's father, Vernon Shazier, shared in January that his son had regained feeling in his legs, but declined to comment on whether Ryan was walking again.

Shazier was able to spend time at the team facility in January, observing practice, sitting in for meetings and watching his teammates finish a campaign that ended with Pittsburgh's loss to the Jaguars in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs.

Thursday's progress marks an encouraging turning point for Shazier, who has support from players and coaches around the league -- and fans from every team.

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