Lamar Odom update: While showing improvement, still long way to go

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There was a lot of encouraging news surrounding Lamar Odom on Friday. He is out of his coma, is breathing on his own, is conscious and spoke a few words — all fantastic signs.

But he remains in critical condition, and a lot of challenges still lie ahead. Kris Jenner speaking to the show Access Hollywood summed his situation up well, as quoted in this story from CNN.

Odom is not in a coma and is using a mask to breathe, but has serious damage to his vital organs, the former NBA star’s mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, told “Access Hollywood” on Friday…. Earlier a source close to the situation told CNN that Odom, 35, improved a “tiny bit” during his third night at Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center.

Odom “got a tiny bit better — emphasis on tiny — and he was responsive in the middle of the night for a moment,” the source said.

There is a long way to go for Odom, 35, who suffered a stroke (or series of strokes) after a multiple-day binge of partying at the Love Ranch brothel about 70 miles outside Las Vegas. It’s considered likely he suffered some level of brain damage from this, although how much and how it affects him remains to be seen. He was found unconscious at the brothel and rushed to the hospital.

He has been fighting for his life ever since, and while there have been very encouraging signs he is not yet out of the woods.

His estranged wife Khloe Kardashian is by his side and making medical decisions for him.

Our thoughts remain with him — you would be hard-pressed to find a player more loved and respected by teammates (and the media) than Odom.