Bart Starr recovering from 'mild stroke'

Pete Dougherty
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Bart Starr poses for a portrait at his office in Birmingham, Ala., on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014.

Bart Starr is in a hospital in Alabama recovering from what his family says was a "mild ischemic stroke."

The Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback, who is 80, was taken to the hospital last week after exhibiting signs at his office that he wasn't his usual self. In a press release issued by the Green Bay Packers, Starr's family described his condition as "very functional" and "making progress every day."

"He is in the care of his physicians and therapists and will be released as soon as he regains his strength," the family said in the statement. "Bart's doctors are confident for a full recovery. We remain grateful for your love and concern."

According to the American Stroke Association, ischemic strokes are caused by fatty deposits obstructing blood vessels that supply blood to the brain.

Starr lives in suburban Birmingham, Ala., with his wife of 60 years, Cherry.

"Everyone in the Packers family extends our best wishes to Bart for a quick recovery," said Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy in the press release. "On behalf of all our fans, we hope to see Bart and Cherry at Lambeau Field soon."

Press-Gazette Media visited Starr in mid-August for a story about his upbringing in Montgomery, Ala. He appeared to be physically fit and moved without any obvious difficulties.

At the time he said he no longer jogs but walks two miles a day and occasionally plays tennis with his wife. He's semi-retired and works short- to medium-length days five days a week at his office in the building that houses his son's investment firm.

Much of his work consists of signing pictures and memorabilia for charities.

When asked about his ability to walk without impediment after playing in the NFL for 16 years, Starr said: "The only way I can explain it is I've been very lucky."

Starr at the time was enthusiastic about taking part in the ceremony to unveil Brett Favre's retired No. 4 on Lambeau Field's north facade at a to-be-determined game in 2015. Favre has said he's hoping Starr will join him as an honorary captain for the pre-game coin toss at midfield, with current quarterback Aaron Rodgers also there as a Packers captain.

"If (Favre) wants me to do it I'd be delighted," Starr said last month.

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