• Heavyweight

Improving Abdusalamov out of coma

December 11, 2013

Heavyweight Magomed Abdusalamov has been taken out of a medically induced coma and is in good enough condition that he will be moved out of intensive care and into a regular hospital room, his promoter told ESPN.

Abdusalamov suffered a serious brain injury during a brutal, 10-round decision loss to Mike Perez on November 2 in an HBO-televised fight at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York. Within a couple of hours of the fight, the 32-year-old Abdusalamov, a married father of three young daughters, was taken to Roosevelt Hospital in New York, where he had surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain.

Doctors initially thought Abdusalamov was going to die but after the surgery he was placed into a medically induced coma to give swelling in the brain time to subside. Shortly after being put in the coma, Abdusalamov suffered a stroke, further dimming his chances for survival.

But he made progress, and in late November, Abdusalamov began breathing on his own and was eventually roused from the coma, but only briefly. His temperature shot up to 103 degrees and he was put back into the coma, where he remained until this past weekend.

Promoter Nathan Lewkowicz said he was briefed on Abdusalamov's condition on Monday by Dr. Rup Swarup, the neurosurgeon handling the case.

"The doctor told me he is out of the coma and awake and that he is aware of his surroundings, and they are moving him to a regular room [on Tuesday]," Lewkowicz said. "They said this is different than last time [he was taken out of the coma] because this time he's showing more improvement.

"He's awake. He's not able to speak but he's awake and aware of his surroundings even if he can't speak. His eyes are open.

"He said they won't know how his brain is until 18 months after the injury, but it's only been a month and his brain is still healing. The doctor said he most likely will have some limb dysfunction. He was on death's doorstep when they brought him in after the fight, but the fact that he was young and healthy made all the difference. He's making progress. He's going to live but they don't know what his limitations are going to be."

During the fight, Abdusalamov also suffered a broken nose, broken hand, cuts and bruises. When he began to have a headache and vomited after the bout, his team took him to the hospital. After arriving, he had a CT scan, which revealed the blood clot and was rushed into surgery.

The Abdusalamov camp has raised questions about whether the New York State Athletic Commission properly examined him after the fight, and the New York State Inspector General is investigating the situation.

This article originally appeared on ESPN.com
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