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Bruschi Released From Hospital; Future Is Uncertain

Associated Press
Saturday, February 19, 2005; Page D03

New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi was released from the hospital yesterday after spending two days recovering from a mild stroke that caused numbness, blurred vision and severe headaches.

Wearing a gray sweat suit, Bruschi smiled and waved to reporters and fans as he walked with his wife, Heidi, to a waiting sport-utility vehicle outside Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He did not comment.

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Bruschi was reportedly walking and talking normally a day after the stroke. Doctors said positive reports so soon after the stroke were good indicators that he could continue his football career, but his prognosis remains uncertain.

Bruschi, a nine-year veteran, is one of the team's most popular players and a key member of the defense that helped New England win three of the last four Super Bowls. He was selected as the AFC's defensive player of the week three times last season, including after a first-round playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts. He ranked second on the team with 128 tackles and tied for second with three interceptions. Last Sunday, Bruschi played in his first Pro Bowl.

Heidi Bruschi called 911 on Wednesday, saying her husband was experiencing "blurred vision, numbness on the right side of his body." The Patriots later confirmed that he had suffered a mild stroke.

JETS: Defensive end John Abraham was designated New York's franchise player with a one-year deal worth $6.7 million.

The franchise tag, the average of the salary for the NFL's top five defensive ends, allows the Jets to get two first-round draft choices for Abraham if he signs with another team. They also could negotiate a long-term deal with him or trade him -- some reports have the Minnesota Vikings interested in obtaining Abraham for wide receiver Randy Moss, who is on the market.

BUCCANEERS: Former Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Akili Smith has signed with Tampa Bay.

Smith was the third player selected in the 1999 draft, but only appeared in 22 games -- with 17 starts -- in four disappointing seasons with the Bengals.

BEARS: Chicago wide receiver David Terrell pleaded guilty to negligent driving.

The plea was part of a deal with prosecutors, who agreed to reduce a reckless driving charge, said Cook (Ill.) County state's attorney spokesman Tom Stanton.

TITANS: Tennessee safety Tank Williams was arrested early Thursday and charged with driving under the influence after a police officer saw his vehicle make a rolling stop at a downtown intersection.


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