Damar Hamlin Attends Buffalo Bills Practice Nearly 5 Months After Cardiac Arrest

Hamlin's cardiac arrest was caused by commotio cordis, which happens when severe chest trauma disrupts the heart's electrical charge

Greg M Cooper/AP/Shutterstock Damar Hamlin
Greg M Cooper/AP/Shutterstock Damar Hamlin

Damar Hamlin is taking his journey back to the football field one day at a time.

Nearly five months after collapsing on the field during Monday Night Football on January 2, the Buffalo Bills safety returned to his team's practice facility to take part in some individual drill workouts.

Related: A Timeline of Damar Hamlin's Recovery After Cardiac Arrest

"I'm not going to get into specifics — where he is and what hour. But he's in the building working, and we'll take it one day at a time," confirmed head coach Sean McDermott at a news conference on Tuesday on the team's Twitter account.

While McDermott would not specify the progress the 25-year-old athlete has made in his recovery, he stressed to reporters that Hamlin had not been fully integrated into the team's workouts.

"He has not been practicing," McDermott, 49, explained. "We're going to just continue to take it one day at a time. We're going to support Damar in every way possible,"

Hamlin echoed the same sentiments while speaking to the American Heart Association earlier in May after being medically cleared to play again in April.

Related: Damar Hamlin on His Recovery From Cardiac Arrest: 'Physically, I'm Getting Stronger' (Exclusive)

"I'm just trying to focus on the right foot in front of the left," he said, noting that he's gotten stronger while learning how to go "with the flow" and "not worrying about trying to control too much" of how he's feeling.

Mike Stewart/AP/Shutterstock
Mike Stewart/AP/Shutterstock

That same month, Hamlin shared during a press conference that he was diagnosed with commotio cordis. He described the condition as "a direct blow at a specific point in your heartbeat that cause cardiac arrest, and five to seven seconds later, you fall out."

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According to Dr. Gordon F. Tomaselli, on behalf of the American Heart Association, commotio cordis is "a rare cardiac arrest immediately following a blow to the chest" that "induces a potentially lethal heart rhythm disturbance, or arrhythmia, called ventricular fibrillation." Although infrequent, it can cause "sudden death in young athletes," the National Library of Medicine reports.

Hamlin told reporters that because of the lethal condition, he would personally take a step to combat statistics and raise awareness.

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