Ryan Shazier: 'My dream is to come back and play football again'

PITTSBURGH — Ryan Shazier addressed Steelers Nation Wednesday afternoon, six months after suffering a spinal injury during a game.

Shazier walked to the podium with the help of a cane and said it's his dream to play football again.

Shazier thanked everyone from fans to medical staff.  He said he's received so many letters and cards of support that's it's been impossible to read them all.

He says that support, and the rousing ovations he's received at public appearances, have lifted him, knowing that so many people have his back.

Shazier talked about the moment he was injured and said, "It was scary."

Shazier also said he has no fear of future injury if he does return to the field.

After going in for a tackle during a December game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Shazier went limp and fell to the ground before being carted off the field. He was hospitalized in Cincinnati before being brought back to Pittsburgh.

Shazier required spinal stabilization surgery for his condition, spondyloisthesis -- which, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, is a condition of the spine in which a vertebra slips out of alignment, moving forward on the vertebra below.

STORY: Ryan Shazier speaks publicly for first time since game injury

In the months since, Shazier has made significant progress in his recovery.

Shazier's father told Channel 11 News in January that his son had regained feeling in his legs. Then, on Feb. 1, Shazier, who had been seen in a wheelchair, posted a photo on Instagram of him standing beside Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

STORY: Ryan Shazier has feeling in legs; dad talks only to Channel 11 about recovery

Fast-forward to April, and all eyes were on Shazier as he walked onto the stage at the NFL Draft to announce the Steelers' first-round draft pick.

STORY: ‘Blessed and humbled’: Ryan Shazier takes to Instagram after walking onto stage at NFL Draft

It wasn't until May that the Steelers officially placed Shazier on the physically unable to perform list. Soon after, it was reported that Shazier would receive most of his 2018 salary as a signing bonus.

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