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Stedman Bailey 'improving' after surgery for gunshot wounds

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher said Monday that wide receiver Stedman Bailey is making progress in his recovery from the two gunshot wounds to the head he suffered Tuesday night.

"He's improving," Fisher said.

For the first time since Bailey was shot in Miami Gardens, Florida, Fisher offered a few details about the surgery. He confirmed Bailey was shot twice in the head and said Bailey had to be put in a medically induced coma to keep the swelling in his brain down before he was able to go into surgery.

Bailey had surgery Wednesday, a procedure Fisher said took upward of six hours.

Since the surgery, Bailey has remained in the intensive care unit in a South Florida hospital. Fisher noted news of Bailey's progress hasn't been just from word-of-mouth but also came in photographic form from Bailey's girlfriend before Sunday's game.

"His girlfriend texted a picture to some of his teammates yesterday in the locker room of him signing his name on a piece of paper," Fisher said. "So [I] got to share that with the team yesterday, and it was good news. We don't have any more information other than he's recovering. He's still in intensive care recovering."

Rams receiver Tavon Austin -- Bailey's closest friend on the team, from their time together at West Virginia -- said after Sunday's loss to Cincinnati that Bailey's girlfriend was there to keep Bailey updated on what's going on with the team, even though none of his teammates could be with him.

"I know his girlfriend is telling him right now," Austin said. "She's right by his side, and she's telling him play by play of how we're doing. I know that for a fact."

Before the shooting, Bailey had been working out in the Miami area while serving his four-game suspension for violation of the league's policy on substance abuse. Fisher said Monday that he trusted Bailey to work out away from the facility, but the timing of the shooting was especially sad because Bailey had plans to be back in St. Louis soon after Thanksgiving.

"He was working out down there," Fisher said. "The unfortunate part about the timing was he had a ticket Wednesday morning to go back to Atlanta to spend Thanksgiving with his mom and then come back here on Friday to resume his training here with us. So it was just an unfortunate timing situation."

Fisher had no further details on the investigation of Bailey's shooting. The Miami Gardens Police Department is handling the ongoing investigation.