Bills' Damar Hamlin faces 'lengthy recovery'
Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin. Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Bills' Damar Hamlin faces 'lengthy recovery' despite team visits

The ongoing recovery of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin is clearly still in its infancy. 

"Despite being out of the hospital, Damar still has a lengthy recovery," Jordon Rooney, Hamlin's marketing representative and friend, told ESPN's Coley Harvey. "Damar still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly. He has visited with the team a few times but he still gets winded very easily. He's upbeat and positive and ready to continue to overcome this."

In a different statement shared by Justin Terranova of the New York Post, Rooney explained that Hamlin "still requires oxygen and is having his heart monitored regularly to ensure there are no setbacks or after effects," is "not in position to travel often," and "requires additional rest to help his body heal." 

Rooney offered his update after Bills head coach Sean McDermott said on Wednesday that Hamlin was visiting the club's facility "almost daily" amid his recovery from the cardiac arrest he suffered during the prime-time game at the Cincinnati Bengals on Jan. 2. Hamlin experienced the medical emergency following a football-play collision with Bengals wide receiver Tee Higgins, and Higgins noted Thursday he wanted to connect with Hamlin if the 24-year-old was able to attend Sunday's playoff contest between the clubs held at Highmark Stadium. 

Higgins' comments led some to believe Hamlin could make a public appearance either before or during Sunday's postseason clash. However, Terranova pointed out that Rooney said Hamlin will be cheering teammates on when they face Cincinnati but didn't reveal Hamlin's exact plans for the matchup. 

The Associated Press mentioned that Hamlin received a supportive phone call from New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on Thursday. The two addressed that conversation via Twitter:

Hamlin spent nearly a full week at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center following the incident at Paycor Stadium but was discharged from Buffalo General Medical Center/Gates Vascular Institute on Jan. 11. 

While Rooney's words serve as a reminder of how far Hamlin has yet to go to make a return to full fitness, the second-year pro's progress continues to be the top positive story of this NFL season. 

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