Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Wednesday night, the team announced Thursday.
Steelers Director of Communications Burt Lauten posted a statement from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center confirming the surgery.
The statement did not provide any update on Shazier’s condition.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said Shazier's season is over and that the Pro Bowl linebacker is facing "months" of recovery.
#Steelers LB Ryan Shazier’s spinal surgery will necessitate months of recovery, sources say, before he considers a return to football. His season is over. A very difficult situation.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 7, 2017
Shazier was transported back to Pittsburgh on Wednesday after suffering a spinal injury in Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Just seeing the Shazier hit and the terrifying aftermath. Hoping for good news pic.twitter.com/5ztj6p7Urj— Landon Haaf (@LandonHaaf) December 5, 2017
After making a tackle on wide receiver Josh Malone, the linebacker crumpled to the ground and was later taken to a nearby hospital via an ambulance.
Earlier in the week, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Shazier was not expected to need surgery.
ESPN’s Michele Steele wrote on Twitter that neurologist Dr. Anthony Alessi -- who did not have access to Shazier’s records -- said it was “a much more severe situation on our hands than we thought.”
Steele wrote that the doctor told her Shazier “may not play football again.”
Alessi says surgery is needed when the "bones around his spinal cord are dislocated. This is a more severe injury (than a contusion.)"— Michele Steele (@ESPNMichele) December 7, 2017
"This is a much more severe situation on our hands than we thought."
The initial prognosis on the injury was a spinal contusion, which seemed to be good news after the lower half of Shazier’s body went limp immediately following the hit.
On Tuesday, Shazier thanked his fans with a message on Twitter. Teammate Mike Mitchell said the linebacker was "in good spirits" Tuesday.
Thank you for the prayers. Your support is uplifting to me and my family. #SHALIEVE— Ryan Shazier (@RyanShazier) December 5, 2017
For those concerned just got off the phone with 50. He’s in good spirits already making progress! God has him. Keep praying keep believing in faith. Never thought I’d say this but #Shalieve lol— Mike Mitchell (@iammikemitchell) December 5, 2017
Shazier was the 15th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. He's recorded 205 tackles, seven sacks, seven interceptions and seven forced fumbles in his four seasons with Pittsburgh, making his first Pro Bowl last season.
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