Ryan Shazier
Ryan Shazier was drafted by the Steelers in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Getty Images

Prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers matchup against the Houston Texans, injured Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier paid a visit to his team. Shazier, who was in a wheelchair, and his girlfriend, visited the Steelers after their practice Saturday, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review.

Shazier, 25, suffered a serious spinal injury earlier in December during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. The injury occurred during a routine tackle when Shazier’s head collided with the leg of Josh Malone. He underwent spinal stabilization surgery shortly afterward.

Shazier was met by his teammates during the Saturday visit, including backup inside linebacker, Tyler Matakevich, the Tribune Review reported. It remained unclear whether it was Shazier’s first time visiting the facility since his injury, though he had seen his teammates via FaceTime after his surgery. Shazier celebrated the team’s win over the Baltimore Ravens from his hospital room after they secured an AFC North championship win.

“A very emotional group in there,” coach Mike Tomlin said in a press conference at the time. “AFC North champs. We had Ryan Shazier on FaceTime. He had an opportunity to share that moment with the team. That’s a special thing.”

Shazier’s season came to an end following his spinal injury as the Steelers placed him on injury reserve. It was unclear whether he would ever be able to play again, though he had begun rehabilitation and his father said he was making “encouraging” progress this week.

“We have seen some improvement that is encouraging,” his father told ESPN Thursday. “We’re taking it one day at a time. We do not know what tomorrow holds. It’s a [daily] journey we don’t know. But I know God is getting the message.”

Shazier was also able to visit Heinz Field to watch the Steelers’ matchup against the New England Patriots. Few details, however, have been given regarding his long-term prognosis, or whether he would be able to walk again.

“I’m currently in the toughest fight of my life,” his father wrote on Twitter. “But I know God is in my corner. Therefore, I’m praying and fighting one day at a time.”