Steelers LB Ryan Shazier gradually improving after spinal surgery

Shazier continuing to show gradual improvement (1:16)

Adam Schefter reports the latest on Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier, who is still in the hospital but is gradually improving. (1:16)

While he remains hospitalized in Pittsburgh, Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier continues to show gradual improvement from his back injury, people familiar with his condition told ESPN.

Doctors are controlling and limiting his movement as they wait for the swelling and bruising in his back to subside, sources said.

It is premature to say whether Shazier will play football again, but the focus right now is not on his playing career but on trying to facilitate his recovery.

Shazier underwent spinal stabilization surgery Wednesday after suffering a severe back injury against the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night. He spent Monday and Tuesday night at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center before being transferred to a University of Pittsburgh Medical Center facility.

The Steelers have not updated his status since Thursday's surgery announcement, but his season is over and the team says it is concerned solely about his short- and long-term health.

Since he returned to Pittsburgh, Shazier has received visits from Steelers owner Art Rooney and multiple teammates, sources said. Shazier's family is also with him.

The injury has weighed heavily on the minds of his teammates, the organization and city. For Sunday night's game against the Baltimore Ravens, at least 15 players will be wearing cleats honoring Shazier and his expression, "Shalieve."

Corey Pane, a Hartford, Connecticut-based artist who paints cleats, reached out to Steelers linebacker Bud Dupree shortly after Shazier suffered the injury, and has painted cleats for several Pittsburgh players. Antonio Brown, Stephon Tuitt, Cam Heyward, T.J. Watt and Dupree said they plan to honor Shazier with cleats that bear his name or likeness.

"I just wanted to do something for Shazier to show him some support and send some good energy his way," Pane said this weekend.