Neil Doef has reached out publicly for the first time since sustaining a spinal cord injury. 

"I'd like to thank everyone who has given my family and I this unbelievable support," the 17-year-old writes on Twitter. "The support is appreciated beyond words!"

Doef was injured in December at the World Junior 'A' hockey championship in Saskatchewan. He spent almost two weeks in the hospital in Saskatoon before returning to Ottawa.

A previous  Facebook post on the DoefStrong page indicated that Doef had  some sensation back in his lower extremities. But he knows recovery involves a long road ahead.

"I know this journey is going to be long," he says in another tweet. "But with all the support and my determination I'm ready to do whatever it takes! #DoefStrong"