Ryan Shazier
Pittsburgh Steelers inside linebacker Ryan Shazier (50) hits Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) during the third quarter in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Paul Brown Stadium. Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier began rehabilitation following spinal stabilization surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The hospital released an update on Shazier’s condition Thursday.

“Ryan Shazier remains hospitalized at UPMC recovering from the spinal stabilization surgery performed last week by UPMC neurosurgeons and Steelers team physicians Drs. David Okonkwo and Joseph Maroon,” UPMC said in a statement. “Mr. Shazier has started physical rehabilitation as part of his recovery process.”

Shazier, 25, suffered a spinal injury earlier in December during a football game against the Cincinnati Bengals when his head slammed into the thigh of Bengals receiver Josh Malone. He was subsequently taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center before being transferred to UPMC.

The Steelers said Tuesday Shazier would be placed on the team’s injured reserve, officially ending his football season.

“Unfortunately Ryan will not be able to contribute on the field during the remainder of the season,” said Steelers president Art Rooney II. “However, even off the field, Ryan will continue to be one of our team leaders. We know his spirit and positive outlook will help him to continue in his recovery, as well as serve as an inspiration to our team.”

His future beyond this football season remained unclear. Doctors initially said Shazier showed signs of improvement but that they would not be able to get a better sense of the injury until swelling decreased.

“Doctors are controlling and limiting his movement as they wait for the swelling and bruising in his back to subside,” said ESPN’s Adam Schefter over the weekend.

Shazier was able to talk to his teammates from his hospital room following surgery via FaceTime. He also thanked fans on social media for their support and prayers.

UPMC said it would continue to provide updates on Shazier as time progressed.