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Detroit — Mark Howe, the Hockey Hall of Fame defenseman, said Sunday his father, the great, retired Red Wings player Gordie Howe, is "doing better."

Mark Howe, the chief pro scout for the Red Wings, said his father has benefited from some recent pain medication for his back, and is more comfortable.

"I am grateful he's resting in less pain," Howe said, after an epidural shot provided some relief for his father, who played 25 years for the Red Wings and is considered by many the greatest hockey player of all time.

Howe suffered a severe stroke on Oct. 26, a less severe stroke in early November and a mini-stroke on Saturday night.

"He's in a wheel chair, but he's wheeled out to the living room to be with people and watch television," Howe said.

"He talks, some. He's got his personality, which is good to see. I like that.

"If you give him a chocolate milk and chocolate chip cookies, he give it back, because none of the women in the room have been given any, yet."

Howe has spent considerable time with his brothers, Marty and Murray, and his sister Cathy, in Cathy's home in Texas, caring for their father.

Mark said he would return, soon, and that his brother Marty, who played with Gordie and Mark in Houston and Hartford in the WHL and NHL, would return Monday to be with his sister and father.

Gordie Howe is 86 years old.

gregg.krupa@detroitnews.com

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