LOS ANGELES • Lamar Odom, the two-time NBA champion and reality TV star left fighting for life after a brothel binge, continues to improve in a Las Vegas hospital, United States media reported.
The 35-year-old remained in the intensive care unit at Sunrise Hospital with serious medical concerns. But E! News, without citing its source, reported on its website that Odom had shown he could swallow - a sign of neurological function - and had been helped out of bed and into a chair for the first time since he was admitted on Tuesday night.
He was breathing with the help of an oxygen mask and with no signs of distress, E! reported. Though his ability to speak is still limited, he has been able to say a few words to his estranged wife Khloe Kardashian and other members of her celebrity family, according to numerous reports.
"Lamar today again has had moments when he is awake and more responsive," an unnamed source told People Magazine. "He is not talking, but seems to understand when Khloe and the medical staff speak to him."
He regained consciousness last Friday and offered his first words since he was found unconscious at the Love Ranch brothel outside Las Vegas on Tuesday.
Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly has said officers who responded to an emergency call were told Odom had used cocaine and sexual performance enhancer supplements in a multi-day stay at the brothel.
Amid reports of brain damage or other organ failure, hospital officials have declined to comment on his condition. There has been an outpouring of support from his former NBA teammates and Kardashian has been at his side.
He won NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 and 2010 and married Kardashian in 2009 in a splashy televised wedding.
His connection to the celebrity Kardashian clan widened his fame, and while she filed for divorce in 2013 the split has reportedly never been finalised.
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS