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Injured Pittsburgh Steelers Ryan Shazier doesn’t just plan to play again following a spinal injury. He says he wants to make it all the way to the Hall of Fame.

 

Shazier opened up to teammate Roosevelt Nix on Nix’s podcast Authentic Kyle Lauletta Jersey , Shazier’s first public comments since injuring his spine in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Dec. 4.

Shazier told Nix, who released the podcast on Tuesday night , that he plans to walk again on his own and return to a career that was on the verge of stardom before the injury, one that required spinal stabilization surgery and left him in the hospital for two months.

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”I’m really trying to come back and still be a Pro Bowler,” Shazier told Nix. ”I’m sorry, because I feel I got snubbed this year for All-Pro even though I got hurt. But I feel like my stats are as good as those who made it.”

The 25-year-old is undergoing outpatient therapy and has documented a portion of his recovery on social media. General manager Kevin Colbert said last week Shazier has been a fixture at the team’s headquarters watching film. Shazier said it’s necessary to keep him mentally sharp while aggressively attacking his rehab.

”I’ve got to get back,” said Shazier, who has not released the exact nature of the injury. ”Right now I’m reading a book and it’s basically saying trust the process. I’m really trusting the process. I know the end goal. So I’m taking every step of the way, I’m giving everything I got. The therapists are like, `Man this is crazy; I’ve never seen anyone work this hard.’ They almost see progression every day.”

Shazier has been vague about specific aspects of his recovery Authentic Chris Herndon Jersey , though he is quick to point out that he can stand on his own, as he did when the cameras cut to him recently while attending a Pittsburgh Penguins game. Either way, Shazier insists he’ll one day run back through the tunnel at Heinz Field with his No. 50 jersey on ready to get back at it.

”I’m still reaching for that Hall of Fame because I really feel I’m the best linebacker ever,” Shazier said. ”I just got to be back out there so everybody can see it. You know what I’m saying?”

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rays continue to win games they perhaps shouldn’t, and they’ll have an opportunity for more of that Saturday against Houston’s Justin Verlander.

The Rays (40-41) hit the midway point of their 2018 season with a 3-2 win over Houston, giving them six wins in their last seven games. Their pitching has led the way — three times in the last four games, they have held their opponent to three hits or less, this after doing so only three times in the first 77 games of this season.

“If we are going to win a lot of game and we are going to string a bunch together, we have to have good pitching Authentic Nathan Shepherd Jersey ,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “The timely hitting is great, but we have to stay in the ballgame. For us to have allowed three runs in 18 innings against arguably the best team in baseball, we should find a way to win one.”

Houston will send Verlander, who has been dominant (9-3, 1.82 ERA) but has gotten surprisingly little run support from a potent Astros lineup.

Houston is just 11-7 in games he starts, and the Astros have scored a total of two runs in five of those losses.

So Saturday could look like Thursday’s 1-0 Astros win, or could look like Friday’s 3-2 loss, which saw two errors factor in Tampa Bay’s scoring.

Verlander faced the Rays just 11 days ago in Houston, again pitching well, allowing one run on six hits in 6 2/3 innings Authentic Arden Key Jersey , but ultimately taking a no-decision in a 2-1 loss. He has 136 strikeouts in 113 innings this season and a ridiculous 0.81 WHIP.

Against the Rays for his career, Verlander is 8-3 with a 3.18 ERA, but since 2010, he’s just 4-3, despite a 1.72 ERA in his last five starts against the Rays. At Tropicana Field, he’s 5-2 all-time with a 2.53 ERA, including a 1.20 ERA in his last two outings.

The Rays counter with reliever-turned-starter Ryne Stanek, who has thrived in the “opener” role that Tampa Bay has essentially created in the past six weeks. He’s starting for the second time in three days against the Astros having thrown 1 2/3 innings of scoreless, hitless baseball Thursday night. For the month of June, he’s pitched in 11 games and 14 2/3 innings without allowing a run.

He’s held opponents to just four hits Authentic Markus Wheaton Jersey , lowering his season ERA to 1.85, just barely above Verlander’s.

The Astros know they have to be careful with the white ceiling of Tropicana Field — the Rays’ three-run fourth inning got a spark Friday when center fielder Jake Marisnick couldn’t hold onto a pop at the warning track, allowing a run to score.

“When you play here, you try to not take your eye off the ball,” Marisnick said. “With the ceiling, I kind of glanced quickly at the ball, then looked back up and lost track. I wasn’t able to come up with it. That’s a play I need to make 10 out of 10 times.”

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