Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery after suffering a significant back injury in Monday night’s victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The team announced on Thursday that Shazier had undergone the procedure the previous day, and that it was performed by team physicians David Okonkwo and Joseph Maroon. The Steelers did not release additional details or any update on Shazier’s long-term prognosis.
Thank you for the prayers. Your support is uplifting to me and my family. #SHALIEVE
— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) December 5, 2017
Shazier was injured when he led with his helmet in attempting to tackle Bengals wide receiver Josh Malone around the rip/hip area. He immediately clutched his back and rolled over on the field. Shazier was stabilized by medical personnel, carted off the field and taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
He was transported to a UPMC hospital in the greater Pittsburgh area on Wednesday. The spinal stabilization surgery is typically done to stabilize a segment of the spine when there is evidence of some instability. It involves using hardware to stabilize the spine and encourage the neurological recovery to continue.
While details of Shazier’s medical status have been difficult to come by, he has been in contact with some teammates, including quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and safety Mike Mitchell, according to ESPN.
The Steelers (10-2) play host to the Baltimore Ravens (7-5) on Sunday. Pittsburgh signed free agent linebacker Sean Spence, who played for the team from 2014-15.
Shazier has told his teammates to focus on the Ravens, while writing on Twitter, “Thank you for the prayers. Your support is uplifting to me and my family.”
🙌🏾🙏🏽Just wanted to thank EVERYONE for all the prayers and support for Ryan. So sorry I haven’t been answering phone calls and texts at this time . Please just keep Ryan in your prayers. This is honestly more than football. You guys honestly don’t know how much this means to us and our families. The love and support that has been flooded our way is something that we are truly grateful for. We THANK YOU! 🙏🏽💛God is TRULY able!! #prayfor50 #shalieve #50 #steelers #faith #family