Injured Seahawk Hamlin out of intensive care

Updated: October 20, 2005, 9:33 PM ET
Associated Press

KIRKLAND, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks safety Ken Hamlin cleared his first big medical hurdle while still lying in his hospital bed.

 Ken Hamlin
Hamlin

Hamlin, severely beaten outside a Seattle nightclub early Monday morning, was moved out of intensive care and into a private room at Harborview Medical Center late Wednesday, according to the player's agent.

Joel Anderson of Capital Sports & Entertainment said in an e-mail Wednesday night that Hamlin had been moved to a regular floor.

The Seattle Times reported Thursday, without citing a source, that the third-year veteran's condition had been upgraded to satisfactory from serious but stable, the description given after Hamlin was diagnosed with a fractured skull and a blood clot near the left side of his brain from the assault.

The medical center was not releasing any information on Hamlin.

On Monday, team physician Stan Herring said Hamlin would be in intensive care until doctors were assured the blood clot has not grown.

Several Seahawks players, including star running back Shaun Alexander, have visited Hamlin in the hospital over the last three days.

"He looked like he got in a fight with me," Alexander said, smiling. "I sat around and cracked every joke I could that I had, to make him laugh ... It was tough, but he's going to be good. He's strong. I was more emotional than he was.

"He's going to be fine. It's definitely a plus for us knowing that he's healing faster than what we thought he would."

Added quarterback Matt Hasselbeck: "It is good to know that he is heading in the right direction, and we can focus on what we need to focus on."

Hasselbeck, speaking after a team meeting earlier Wednesday in which coach Mike Holmgren told players that Hamlin seemed to be improving, was mindful of Sunday's upcoming game with fellow NFC division leader Dallas at Qwest Field.

Holmgren's meeting included an unusual edict.

The coach said all Seahawks players and coaches are now prohibited from entering Pioneer Square, the historic Seattle bar and restaurant district just north of Qwest Field. Hamlin was assaulted outside a nightclub there.

Holmgren, an NFL head coach the last 14 years, said he had never declared places off-limits to his players before. He added that he knows of at least two players who were with Hamlin at Larry's Nightclub and that he and the team's chief of security, Rick Ninomiya, have talked to those players. Holmgren would not identify them or characterize what was discussed.

"The players were very forthcoming," Holmgren said. "All that stuff will come out at the proper time."

As to the Pioneer Square restriction, Holmgren, a father of four girls, told his usual midweek news conference, "It's like dealing with your own kids in some respect. You want to trust them ...

"We didn't have a 'hit list' of places not to go. However, I did talk to the team this morning about staying away from that area down there ... This wasn't an isolated incident down in that neck of the woods."

Alexander said Holmgren's new rule "is wise."

Marquand Manuel, who is replacing Hamlin as the team's starting free safety Sunday against Dallas, said he has had coaches tell players to avoid certain parts of a town.

"In college, yes," said the 26-year-old former University of Florida player. "It's just one of those things, unfortunately."

Holmgren said the team isn't aware of any connection between Hamlin's assault and the shooting death of a man found in a Seattle park three hours later and 5 miles southwest of the nightclub.

On Thursday, however, Police confirmed that the victim of the shooting had been, a few hours earlier, at the same bar as Hamlin.

Officers did not say whether they believe Terrell Milam, 31, was involved in the fight with Hamlin, as Milam's family has contended. The detectives have been investigating whether there was a connection between the fight and Milam's death.

Police Department spokesman Rich Pruitt said Milam, who had a long criminal history including a manslaughter conviction, visited with a number of other people in the time between the fight and when he was found dead on a sidewalk near Seattle's Seward Park.

According to King County Superior Court and U.S. District Court documents, Milam had a long history of drug use. During a dice game in 1994, he shot an acquaintance -- a member of a rival gang -- five times, killing him, and was sentenced to 4½ years for manslaughter.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press

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