In his first public comments since his father announced his diagnosis of post-traumatic amnesia, Carolina Panthers tight end Hayden Hurst said he plans to return to the field before the end of the season.
"I appreciate everyone reaching out & checking on me," Hurst wrote Thursday morning on social media. "I suffered a pretty nasty concussion against the Bears a few weeks ago & don't remember up to 4 hours after the game. Scary situation but the Panthers have been incredible walking me through this process.
"While it was scary, it is NOT career ending. I'm starting my return to play this week, so fingers crossed I make it back for the last few weeks! God Bless & Keep Pounding !!!!"
Hurst's father, Jerry Hurst, posted Wednesday night on social media that an independent neurologist had diagnosed his son with the condition and that it would be a "slow recovery, don't know when he'll be back."
According to the National Institutes of Health, post-traumatic amnesia is an altered state of brain function that follows a serious brain injury. It has several complex symptoms that can often go unrecognized, though a loss of memory around the time of the injury, confusion, disorientation and other behavioral changes are common.
Hurst suffered the injury Nov. 9 during a Week 10 game against the Bears. Midway through the fourth quarter, Hurst tried to make a catch across the middle of the field when Chicago safety Jaquan Brisker made a clean hit on Hurst's midsection. Hurst's head snapped with the force of the hit, and it also slammed into the turf as Hurst was brought to the ground. Hurst was slow to get up. He eventually re-entered the game.
The following day, he was placed in the NFL's concussion protocol and has missed three games since the hit.
Hurst, 30, exchanged text messages Thursday with a reporter from ESPN and said he expects to return before the end of December.
"I'm doing better each day," Hurst told ESPN. "It's not going to end my career, just being cautious as I come back. Should be another week or two."
Hurst has 18 catches for 184 yards and one touchdown this season. The Panthers (1-11) finish their season with games against the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Green Bay Packers, Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
"It was a weird feeling for the first couple of weeks," Hurst told ESPN of the diagnosis. "I'm doing way better now."
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hayden Hurst says post-traumatic amnesia is not career-ending