As scary as Ryan Shaziers condition looked Monday night after a collision during the Steelers-Bengals game, doctors now believe its worse than anticipated.

The Steelers announced Thursday that Shazier, a fourth-year linebacker, underwent spinal stabilization surgery on Wednesday, the same day he was transferred back to Pittsburgh from the University of Cincinnati medical center. Shazier spent two nights in Cincinnati while doctors put him through a variety of medical tests.

This type of surgery is performed when the bones surrounding a persons spinal cord are dislocated, neurologist Dr. Anthony Alessi told ESPNs Michelle Steele.

Its not good. Were not going to see him [on the field] this season, Alessi said of Shazier. He may not play football again. This is a much more severe situation on our hands than we thought.

Shazier was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field during the first quarter of the Steelers 23-20 win after hitting Bengals receiver Josh Malone head-first, falling to the turf and grabbing his back in pain.

While Shazier has spoken with a few teammates, including safety Mike Mitchell and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, other players and his family members have asked for prayers on social media.

Please EVERYONE continue to pray for the Lords healing of Ryan, Shaziersfiance, Michelle Rodriguez, wrote on Instagram. God bless everyone for the continued support and love for our family at this time. We thank you so much!

The 24-year-old Shazier leads the Steelers defense in tackles this season and has contributed three interceptions. His absence is a critical loss for the 10-2 Steelers, who look headed for their fourth straight playoff appearance.

With AP