SASKATOON - A junior hockey player hospitalized in Saskatoon with meningitis remains in critical condition, but is stable and improving.
A statement by the Saskatoon Health Region says doctors are slowly trying to wake Tim Bozon from a medically induced coma.
His family has indicated he is responding to verbal stimuli.
Bozon plays for the Kootenay Ice of the Western Hockey League and is a prospect with the NHL Montreal Canadiens.
The 19-year-old was admitted March 1 to Saskatoon's Royal University Hospital where he was diagnosed.
His parents, Philippe and Helene, say they have been overwhelmed by email and social media messages of support from people around the world.
"The family is very appreciative and will respond sometime in the near future," said the statement released Thursday. "The family also wants to express thanks to the doctors and staff at Royal University Hospital for the care Tim has received."
The Western Hockey League has established a trust fund to assist the Bozon family with medical and rehabilitation costs not covered by insurance. Details are to be released later this week.
Bozon fell ill following a game Feb. 28 against the Saskatoon Blades. Health officials have been working to make sure anyone who may have come into contact with the bacteria that causes the illness receives appropriate treatment.
Bozon was selected in the third round, 64th overall, by Montreal in the 2012 National Hockey League draft.