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Son: Gordie Howe comfortable as he recovers from 2 strokes; hockey great unable to

NHL.com @NHL

DETROIT - The son of Gordie Howe says the Hockey Hall of Famer is comfortable as he recovers from the effects of a pair of strokes, his son said Sunday.

Mark Howe said his 86-year-old father's vital signs are good and he's aware of the reasons for his condition after an epidural procedure reduced pain stemming from summertime spinal surgery. Gordie Howe still faces a long road to recovery.

"He's unable to walk and his speech is very minimal," Mark Howe said. "After his first stroke, within a week, he was up to walking 40 to 50 feet.

"They did his first physical therapy after the epidural. He tried standing twice over 20 minutes and it took every ounce of energy he had and totally drained him."

Gordie Howe suffered what his children called a serious stroke in late October and another in early November. He's been staying at his daughter's home in Lubbock, Texas.

Gordie Howe has lived with his children since the death of his wife, Colleen, in 2009. He has battled the effects of dementia for several years.

"Mr. Hockey" was the NHL's most valuable player six times and played on four Stanley Cup championship teams in Detroit during a 25-year stint that began in 1946. The league scoring records he set stood until Wayne Gretzky broke them.

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