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Patriots linebacker will go home Friday

BOSTON -- Details in an emergency call to police by his wife
were an early indication that New England Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi suffered a mild stroke.

Bruschi, 31, a mainstay for three Super Bowl championships and
one of the most popular Patriots, has been hospitalized since
Wednesday after experiencing temporary numbness, blurred vision and
headaches. The team said Thursday he was doing well after the stroke.

According to a Patriots spokesman, Bruschi is expected to be released from Massachusetts General Hospital around 4 p.m. ET Friday.

"It has been determined that these symptoms were the results of
a mild stroke," team spokesman Stacey James said. "Tedy is in
good condition and, as always, his spirits are high. He is walking
and talking normally and stressed that he would like to thank
everyone for keeping him and his family in their thoughts and prayers."

In a phone call by Bruschi's wife, Heidi, to 911 on Wednesday,
she said: "He's having blurred vision, numbness on the right side
of his body." He then was admitted to Mass General.

"The outpouring of support has been overwhelming and the
Bruschi family is very appreciative," James said.

An estimated 700,000 people per year in the United States suffer
strokes. While broken blood vessels can cause them, a vast majority
result from clots that block the brain's arteries.

Dr. David Liebeskind, associate neurology director of the UCLA
Stroke Center in Los Angeles, said Bruschi's reported state of
health indicated he had a good chance of recovery -- and could
possibly resume his playing career.

"Based on the fact that he's walking and talking, in a
31-year-old, it sounds like he could be able to play" football
again, Liebeskind told The Associated Press. "A lot of people who
have strokes while young tend to have no effects later. ... But
things could change quickly. If he happens to have some numbness
that persists, that may affect his playing."

Liebeskind emphasized that a battery of tests performed while
Bruschi was hospitalized will determine the actual diagnosis.

Brian Mullen of the NHL's New York Islanders attempted a
comeback two years after suffering a mild stroke and undergoing
surgery to correct the heart problem that caused it in 1993. He had
a seizure during his training and retired when no team would take a
chance on him.

Houston Astros pitcher J.R. Richard, one of the most dominant
right-handers of the late 1970s, had his career cut short when he
suffered a blockage-caused stroke in 1980 at age 30. His comeback
attempt was also unsuccessful.

Unlike heart attacks, strokes usually cause no pain, so the
warning signs often are missed by victims and people around them.
Symptoms include sudden weakness or numbness, dimness or loss of
vision, difficulty or inability to speak and severe headaches.

A nine-year NFL veteran, the versatile Bruschi has been a star
of the defense that helped the Patriots win three of the past four
Super Bowls, including a 24-21 win over the Philadelphia Eagles on
Feb. 6 in which he had an interception.

Bruschi was selected as the AFC's Defensive Player of the Week
three times, including the first-round playoff victory over the
Indianapolis Colts. A second team Associated Press All-Pro
selection, he ranked second on the team with 128 tackles and tied
for second with three interceptions.

He also had two fumble recoveries in the 20-3 playoff win over
the Colts.

On Sunday, Bruschi played in his first Pro Bowl.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.