PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier underwent surgery on Wednesday night to stabilize his spine.
The team announced Thursday Drs. David Okonkwo and Joseph Maroon performed the surgery after Shazier was transferred from a hospital in Cincinnati to one in Pittsburgh.
The 25-year-old Shazier suffered the injury while hitting Cincinnati's Josh Malone in the first quarter of Pittsburgh's 23-20 victory over the Bengals on Monday night. Shazier motioned to his lower back immediately following the hit and was taken off the field on a stretcher.
The team offered no additional update on Shazier.
When will we see Gronk back in action?
Try May 5 in the Kentucky Derby. The thoroughbred named Gronkowski is a Derby hopeful and the Patriots tight end has acquired "a substantial stake" in his namesake.
"We are very excited to have this talented racehorse running in the Derby and to have Rob Gronkowski join our team," Tom Ludt of Phoenix Thoroughbreds said in a statement. "His involvement only adds to our growing credentials worldwide and can help us introduce the best of horse racing to a whole new audience."
Gronkowski the horse is based in England with trainer Jeremy Noseda and has received a Derby invite after earning the most points in the European Road to the Kentucky Derby series.
The Gronk Nation website reports that the Patriots tight end and his entourage will be at Churchill Downs in Louisville for the race.
Here's Gronk's thoughts, via Gronk Nation, on his namesake 3-year-old colt:
“This horse is a winner and I love a winner. When I heard about the racehorse being named after me, I started watching and got really stoked when he started winning. He’s won his last three races and is now headed to the Derby. I’m all in: Welcome to the Gronk Family, Gronkowski the Horse!"
“I really can’t think of anything cooler than having a top-class thoroughbred named after me,” Rob added. “Except maybe having him win the Derby.”
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