Tennis great Rod Laver probably faces months of hospitalization while recovering from a stroke. Whether he'll ever recover fully is not known.
Dr. Neil Martin, Laver's neurosurgeon and co-director of the UCLA Stroke Center, said Laver remained in stable condition in the intensive care unit at UCLA Medical Center on Thursday."We still anticipate he'll be in the intensive care unit for another few days, and in the hospital for a week or so," Martin said. "Physical therapy will be the next big step after he gets out of the hospital. He'll be staying as an inpatient for physical therapy. He won't be going home.
"I think there's a fighting chance he'll be up and walking around. It's going to take months."
Laver, who turns 60 Sunday, suffered the stroke July 27 during a taped television interview. He was moved out of the intensive care unit last Friday, but went back in several hours later after developing a fever.
Martin said Laver was responding to antibiotics administered for the fever, and there was some improvement in his weakened right arm.
"He's not entirely out of danger at this point," Martin said. "He's a bit disoriented. He is certainly not enjoying himself, but bearing up under the circumstances."
Martin said what Laver has experienced since suffering the stroke is not necessarily atypical.
"There's a great variety of what can happen after a stroke," the doctor said. "The odd person will sail through."
Laver, an Australian who lives in Newport Beach, Calif., is the only player to win two Grand Slams, accomplishing the feat as an amateur in 1962 and as a pro seven years later.
In his career, Laver won four Wimbledon singles championships, three Australian singles titles, two U.S. Open singles cham-pion-ships and two French singles titles.