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READER ALERT: For all the latest wrestling happenings, check out our News & Rumours section.

Hart recovering from stroke

By ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

CALGARY -- Five days before his 45th birthday, Bret (Hitman) Hart lies in a Calgary hospital fighting to regain use of his left arm and leg following a stroke.

The former wrestling star had the left side of his body paralyzed on Monday when he suffered a blood clot in his brain seconds before or after he fell off his bicycle.

Hart, who wasn't wearing a helmet, landed on his head but was able to call for help on his cell phone despite having lost feeling in his left side. He was stabilized by EMS officials and transported to hospital where doctors continue to run a battery of tests seeking to find out the extent of damage done to his body.

"He has made incredible progress every day and seems to have more and more use of his left side," said Hart's personal assistant, Marcy Engelstein, who said the numbness on the left side of Hart's face has subsided considerably, allowing him to speak normally, again.

"Doctors are anticipating he could be 100% but it will take a lot of work," she said.

'VERY SERIOUS'

Doctors suggest Hart will remain in hospital for at least three more weeks and is expected to start rehab within days.

"This is a very serious situation and we are all deeply concerned. But we are all hopeful for a full recovery and we are encouraged by his continued progress," said Hart's sister-in-law, Martha Hart.

"I'm confident he'll be okay," said Ross Hart, one of Bret's nine living siblings.

"He seems to be having a lot of discomfort but he is speaking normally and hasn't lost any memory."

In an effort to ensure his legion of fans weren't concerned by his closely guarded hospitalization earlier in the week, Hart played down the seriousness of the incident by issuing an e-mail statement to supporters on Tuesday.

"Yesterday I took a tumble and, since I retired due to a career-ending concussion, the docs are checking me over as a precautionary measure," the e-mail read.

More on Bret Hart




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