Damar Hamlin Discharged from Hospital and Returning to Buffalo: 'Next Stage of His Recovery'

Damar Hamlin is heading back to Buffalo.

One week after the 24-year-old Buffalo Bills safety had to be resuscitated on the field and was transferred to the hospital in critical condition, Hamlin's doctors have announced he has officially been discharged from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Dr. William Knight IV confirmed Hamlin's release on Monday, adding that he is currently on his way to Buffalo, New York, where he will be transferred to another hospital under "very capable and excellent" medical care. "This is the next stage of his recovery," said Knight.

"We continue to be ecstatic about his recovery," said Dr. Timothy Pritts, who also treated Hamlin. As he heads home, Pritts says Hamlin will "continue to undergo a series of tests."

Upon arrival, Hamlin's medical team in Buffalo will "observe and monitor" the athlete "to ensure that there's no impact on the flight to his condition or on his lungs" from the travel. Knight said that he and Pritts "have spoken extensively with his care team in Buffalo" and can "confirm that he is doing well."

This is a 2022 photo of Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills NFL football team. This image reflects the Buffalo Bills active roster as of when this image was taken Buffalo Bills 2022 Football Headshots, Orchard Park, United States - 13 Jun 2022
This is a 2022 photo of Damar Hamlin of the Buffalo Bills NFL football team. This image reflects the Buffalo Bills active roster as of when this image was taken Buffalo Bills 2022 Football Headshots, Orchard Park, United States - 13 Jun 2022

Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock

Over the weekend, Hamlin has been "walking the unit, tolerating a regular diet, meeting with his family and many members of the care team," his doctors said. "He walks normally. He is admittedly a little weak. I don't think that's of any real surprise after what he went through, just regaining his strength and that's part of his recovery process," said Pritts.

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Hamlin's doctors spoke highly of his character on Monday, sharing that, "he's got an amazing, genuine sense of humor." Pritts said, "His family is amazing and we're happy he's with them."

For the long term, doctors anticipate Hamlin "would have likely ongoing needs," which may include "therapy or working with different specialists." Fortunately, Knight explained that because "he appears to be neurologically completely intact" at this point, "there's no reason to believe that he won't continue his path to recovery."

Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed on the field after a hard tackle to his chest in Monday night's game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He received CPR for 10 minutes and appeared to be given oxygen before he was transported to the hospital in critical condition.

RELATED: Damar Hamlin Told His Teammates 'I Love You Boys' During Team Zoom Call, Bills Coach Says

Buffalo Bills players react after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Buffalo Bills players react after teammate Damar Hamlin #3 was injured against the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paycor Stadium on January 02, 2023 in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Kirk Irwin/Getty Buffalo Bills v Cincinnati Bengals

The Bills announced Friday that Hamlin was breathing on his own and had been able to speak to his family and care staff. On the same day, head coach Sean McDermott also said the team also got to speak to Hamlin for the first time since the accident via video call.

"We were able to hear him say, 'I love you boys,' to the team and to the people in the room," McDermott said on Audacy's WGR 550 SportsRadio show, The Extra Point with Sal & Joe.

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McDermott said it was "touching to see Damar, number one, through my own eyes," during the call. "I know that's something I'd been looking forward to, kind of needing to see, I guess."

Hamlin was officially put on the Bills' injured reserve list on Friday.

ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 08: The scoreboard illuminates a #3 in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin prior to a game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the Bills' Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals and remains in intensive care. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 08: The scoreboard illuminates a #3 in support of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin prior to a game between the Buffalo Bills and the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the Bills' Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals and remains in intensive care. (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)

Timothy T Ludwig/Getty

RELATED: All NFL Teams to Wear 'Love for Damar 3' Shirts in Support of Hamlin, Commissioner Goodell Says

On Saturday, Hamlin thanked fans and the NFL community for the outpouring of support he received over the week.

"Putting love into the world comes back 3xs as much… thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed," Hamlin tweeted on Saturday afternoon. "This will make me stronger on the road to recovery, keep praying for me! "