Expedito "Pedro" Lugo, 24, whose skull was fractured during a savage beating with his own baseball bat last month near Patterson Park, is improving.
Lugo, of the 400 block of N. Kenwood Ave., was moved yesterday from Johns Hopkins Hospital, where he remained for several weeks on a life-support system, to the Montebello Rehabilitation Hospital's head injury unit.
"He's on the road to recovery," said Dr. Daniel Drubach, director of the hospital's traumatic brain injury unit. "We don't know how complete the recovery will be."
"He's lost his ability to speak, understand language and the use of [the] right side" of his body," Drubach said.
About 3 p.m. May 17, Lugo was beaten with his own baseball bat after leaving Patterson Park, where he frequently played baseball. Four teen-agers have been charged and are being held in connection with the attack.
For several hours a day, Lugo will undergo speech, occupational, physical and recreational therapy and "cognitive rehabilitation" (such as flashcards and verbal exercises) to help him regain his ability to think and comprehend complex subjects, Drubach said.
As for when full recovery might be expected, "I have no idea," the doctor said.
Some victims of severe head trauma recover in several months; others take years, he explained.
"He has a lot of things going for him, and, of course, things going against him," Drubach said.
"We think he's going to make it," said Lugo's sister, Bernarda Lugo, 17. "He's starting to talk, but he's mumbling."