Howe's family says his mental awareness improved

DETROIT (AP) Gordie Howe's family was hopeful the hockey great would be out of the hospital before the end of the night Wednesday after being treated for dehydration.

In a statement released by the Detroit Red Wings, Howe's family said he was having difficulty eating solid foods and has been unable to walk for more than three weeks, but his mental awareness was improving enough that they were expecting him to be able to leave the hospital.

The 86-year-old Howe suffered what his children called a serious stroke in late October. He has been staying at his daughter's home in Lubbock, Texas.

On Monday, Howe showed diminished consciousness to caregivers and physical therapy personnel and was taken to a hospital, but an MRI on Tuesday revealed he did not have another severe stroke.

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