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Lamar Odom feeling 'way better,' but recovery will be long

Lamar Odom feeling 'way better,' but recovery will be long
This Jan. 2, 2013, file photo shows the Los Angeles Clippers' Lamar Odom during an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Oakland. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Lamar Odom became "more and more aware" Tuesday as he continues to receive treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles for his recovery from a coma, a person who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter told the L.A. Times.

Though Odom is feeling "way better," the person noted that it's still going to be "a long road" to recovery for him and that he will be at the hospital "for a while."

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Odom's aunt, JaNean Mercer, released a statement Tuesday calling his progress "miraculous."

"As Lamar begins a new chapter in his road to recovery, PLEASE continue to uplift him and the family in prayer," Mercer's statement said. "He continues to make miraculous progress, taking a few steps in Los Angeles. We couldn't be more overjoyed! We realize Lamar's continued improvement will not be easy, however his unrelenting strength and faith in GOD will pull him through."

The person said Odom, who was found unconscious at a brothel in rural Nevada last week and was transported to a Las Vegas hospital in extreme critical condition, had kidney failure, but a problem with his lungs is no longer an issue.

Odom, 35, will have to start dialysis for his kidney, the person said, and will have to be in physical therapy "for months and months."

Doctors in Las Vegas didn't find any paralysis after Odom had several strokes, but there is a fear that he might have some brain damage, the person said.

Odom's soon-to-be-ex wife, reality TV star Khloe Kardashian, has been with him throughout his hospitalization and recovery, and was by his side when he was transported Monday from the Las Vegas hospital to Los Angeles, the person said. The couple signed divorce papers in July and their official split is pending judicial review in L.A. County Superior Court.

Kardashian released her own statement Tuesday on her website.

"The past week has been incredibly difficult. I am so thankful to family, friends and fans, who have sent nothing but prayers and well wishes to Lamar," the statement said. "I also want to take a moment to thank everyone at Sunrise Hospital, including the amazing doctors and nurses for their kindness and diligent work. Under their amazing care, incredible strides have been made. You can never be prepared for an experience like this, but without the outpouring of love and endless prayers that Lamar has received and the strength I was given from my loved ones, it would have been difficult to endure. Thank you for your continued support. God is great!!!"

When Odom is released from the hospital, the question then becomes where he'll stay while recovering. Odom has a home in Las Vegas, but had been living alone.

That worries Kardashian, the person said, which is why she is considering having Odom stay at her house.

Workers at the Love Ranch brothel in Crystal, Nev., said they saw Odom, who played for the Lakers and Clippers during his 14-year NBA career, drink alcohol and take supplements sold as "herbal Viagra."

Odom regained consciousness and started "speaking in sentences" and began "texting" for the first time Friday, said another person who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

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Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner

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