Tracy Morgan's recovery from his June car crash is no joke.
After attending a hearing Tuesday for Morgan's lawsuit against the Walmart truck driver who National Transportation Safety Board investigators say caused the June 7 accident, the 30 Rock alum's lawyer shared an update on the star's health outside court in Trenton, New Jersey. From what he said, Morgan, who suffered traumatic brain injury in addition to broken bones, has a long way to go on his path to recovery.
"Mr. Morgan is a fighter," his attorney, Benedict Morelli, told reporters. "He's fighting to get better. And if there's a chance for him to be back to the Tracy Morgan he once was, he's going to try to do that. But we just don't know because of the severity of the injuries that he sustained and the fact that he had such a severe brain injury."
While Morelli didn't specify what type of brain injury Morgan suffered, he spoke more about the star's recovery, which is ongoing.
"When you have a traumatic brain injury, it takes a very long time to find out how you're going to do and how much you're going to recover. You just don't know," he said. "So that's where he is. He's still fighting and trying to live his life at the same time and trying to get better, and he's just not better. We're hoping and praying to get him back to where he was. But the jury's out."
While it was known that Morgan broke his leg, nose, and multiple ribs in the six-car crash, which killed his mentor, James "Jimmy Mack" McNair, and injured three other passengers, this is the first time Morgan's brain injury was revealed.
Morelli and attorneys for Walmart were in court to schedule dates in the civil lawsuit, filed in July, which accused the megastore company of negligence. The retailer employed the truck driver, Kevin Roper, who was going 20 miles over the speed limit and smashed into Morgan's limobus, which was returning from a stand-up show in Delaware. There are also claims that Roper had not slept in more than 24 hours before the crash.
Walmart filed a response to the lawsuit in October including the allegation that Morgan and his fellow passengers wouldn't have suffered such severe injuries had they been wearing seat belts.
Morgan, who spent weeks in the hospital and then a rehab facility before being released in mid-July, has kept a very low profile since the accident, staying mostly at his home in the Garden State and venturing out, with the assistance of a wheelchair or walker, for doctor's appointments. He did issue a statement several weeks ago thanking his fans for "sticking with me during this difficult time" and promising that he was "fighting hard every day to get back."
Last month, fellow comedian Chris Rock talked about visiting Morgan, with whom he co-stars in the film Top Five, and shared his own observations.
"He’s OK," Rock told USA Today. "I went by his house and showed him a copy of the movie. He was very happy. He’s got physical therapists. There’s a lot of rehab going on. He’s traumatized — his friend died.”