SAN ANTONIO – When Ryan Shazier suffered a serious spinal injury on Dec. 4 during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals, messages poured in on social media for the Pittsburgh Steelers star linebacker. One of those messages was from Spurs shooting guard Danny Green.
Green told KSAT he met Shazier over the summer. The two have mutual friends and Green’s girlfriend knows Shazier’s fiancee, Michelle Rodriguez, very well.
As with most the country, Green has continued to follow Shazier’s recovery closely.
“We know he’s going to bounce back. I know he’s a fighter, great guy, just hope for the best and continue to pray for him,” Green said after a recent Spurs home game.
Shazier had stabilization surgery about a month ago and his father told WPXI in Pittsburgh that his son had regained feeling in his legs.
Shazier also made an appearance this week at practice as the Steelers prepared for their divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
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I want to thank the Lord for the first downs that he has been allowing me to achieve. The touchdown is going to come in his timing, but today was a first down. I was finally able to make it to practice with my teammates. It’s great to be back for practices and meetings. Just to be able to feel a part of it means the world. So I’m working harder than I ever have to get back. Ive been making strides over the past month and continue to make progress. Taking it day-by-day, but I’m far from done. The Lord has not finished his work yet. I want to say thank you to the fans and Steelers Nation for the prayers. If it wasn’t for my family, friends and your prayers I wouldn’t be were I am now. They have lifted me and my family through this journey and I ask for you to continue praying for me, as I continue to work daily on improving my health. #Shalieve#Steelers#prayfor50
Green said he and his girlfriend are encouraged by Shazier’s progress, but he understands there is still long recovery ahead.
"He’s a tough guy, if anybody can bounce back from something like this, I know it will be him,” Green said.
There is no guarantee Shazier will play again. The rehabilitation process will be arduous, but Green believes as do many others, that the two-time pro bowl player will see the field again.
Green’s not ready to close the book on Shazier’s career.
"I think we’ll be having a good story from him,” Green said. “Hopefully sometime next year, or the year after, on how well he recovers and bounces back.”
And Green will be waiting for that next chapter, praying and supporting his friend from San Antonio.
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