Monday January 12th, 2015

Former Detroit Red Wings right-winger Gordie Howe's condition has continued to improve after stem cell treatment in December, Howe's family told Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

Howe, who will turn 87 in March, has severe dementia. He had multiple strokes last summer and a serious one in October, and he was hospitalized in December with a case of dehydration.

Howe's family opted to have the NHL legend, who spent 32 years as a professional hockey player, undergo stem cell treatment in December. The familiy has said that his condition has improved markedly since then.

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Prior to the treatment, Howe was limited to shuffling his feet while sitting down. He has since regained the ability to kick a ball around and to push a shopping cart. He has gone out in public with family members.

Howe's son Mark, who is currently a pro scout for the Red Wings, said that his father "is doing very well, overall."

Howe spent 25 seasons with the Red Wings from 1946 to 1971. After six years with the Houston Aeros and New England Whalers of the World Hockey Association, Howe returned to the NHL for a final season with the Hartford Whalers, retiring in 1980.

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During his season in Hartford, Howe, 51 at the time, scored 15 goals and recorded 26 assists in 80 games.

- Christopher Woody

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