Some good news for ABC newsman Bob Woodruff.
The World News Tonight coanchor is now able to utter a few words and is starting to walk again--five weeks after nearly suffering serious injuries to his head and body in a near-fatal roadside bombing while on assignment in Iraq.
"In the last couple of days, he's taken a lot of great leaps forward," Woodruff's brother, David, told ABC's Good Morning America Tuesday.
Doctors have put the 44-year-old newsman on a heavy regimen of painkillers to give his body time to recover from the severe wounds sustained during the Jan. 29 explosion set off by Iraqi insurgents.
According to his sibling, Woodruff has been able to recognize people, and he told his daughter that he loves her. And showing he hasn't lost his knack for other languages, the veteran journalist also said a few words in Chinese and German.
"My brother's been an overachiever his entire life. I think none of us expected him to do anything less in this whole process," David Woodruff said. "We know that top on his mind is getting back to his family, to his kids and getting back to doing what he loves to do."
Nevertheless, Woodruff faces months of recovery.
Woodruff and cameraman Doug Vogt were embedded with Iraqi troops filming a report in the back hatch of a vehicle when their convoy triggered an explosive device in Taji, Iraq, 12 miles north of Baghdad.
Both men received shrapnel wounds to the head, neck, back and limbs, as well as several broken bones. They were immediately taken to a U.S. military hospital in Balad, where they underwent surgery in a trauma unit, before being flown to Germany for further treatment.
On Feb. 1, they were transferred to the National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, which specializes in longer term care.
Vogt, whose wounds were less serious, was discharged two weeks ago and returned to his home in France, where he's undergoing extensive rehabilitation. Things were dicier for Woodruff, though, as doctors were forced to remove part of his skull cap to relieve swelling of the brain.
His family is reportedly looking at various rehabilitation facilities to continue his therapy once the father of four is ready to leave Bethesda.
While Woodruff recuperates, the Alphabet net has tapped Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer to fill in on World News Tonight. Woodruff and Elizabeth Vargas took over the evening newscast from the late Peter Jennings earlier this year. However, ABC will soon have to make yet another temporary shake up to accommodate Vargas, who is expecting a baby with her husband, singer Marc Cohn.