Ryan Shazier confirms report clarifying his status

Ryan Shazier continues to make progress in his recovery from a spinal injury he suffered during a game in December, but the Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker still needs assistance when trying to walk.

Shazier confirmed a report by NBC Sports sideline reporter Michele Tafoya on Sunday that he still needs to use a walker or be assisted by others as part of his rehab walking program. Shazier confirmed Tafoya's report via Twitter that walking remains a struggle for him.

The fourth-year pro was discharged from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Rehabilitation Institute on Thursday and is transitioning into an outpatient therapy program, the hospital announced.

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.

He spent 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.

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