Ex-coach: Lamar Odom breathing on his own, Khloe Kardashian at his side

Updated 9:54 PM EDT, Mon October 19, 2015
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Story highlights

NEW: Odom is getting closer to leaving Las Vegas to continue his recovery in Los Angeles, sources say

Odom's college coach: He's talking to Khloe Kardashian, who remains with him

Odom was found unresponsive Tuesday after spending days at a legal brothel in Nevada

CNN —  

Former NBA star Lamar Odom is breathing on his own and told his estranged wife, Khloe Kardashian, “I love you,” according to his former coach Jim Harrick.

Harrick, who coached Odom in college, appeared Monday on CNN’s “New Day.” He said that the 35-year-old athlete has made “a little bit of progress.”

Odom was hospitalized last Tuesday after he was found unconscious at the Love Ranch, a brothel in Nevada where he had been holed up for several days.

Indications are that he is getting closer to leaving Las Vegas to continue his recovery in Los Angeles, according to sources close to Odom.

Little is known about what left him unresponsive at the brothel. Love Ranch owner Dennis Hof recently told CNN that Odom was “in a good frame of mind” when he was taken to the brothel, and that he ate and slept well there.

“He picked a couple of girls, and he had the time of his life,” Hof said.

Opinion: What happened to Odom?

In three days at the brothel, Odom spent $75,000, which guaranteed two women would “take care of any of his needs,” Hof told CNN’s sister network HLN.

Who is Dennis Hof?

Employees told 911 dispatchers that Odom used cocaine on Saturday – his first day at the brothel – though Hof insisted Saturday that any drug use happened when Odom was partying early that morning in Las Vegas but before he’d arrived at the Love Ranch.

“I’m going to protect my business, and I’m not going to let the world say that Lamar was doing a lot of drugs in my place,” he told CNN’s Michael Smerconish, insisting his brothel has “zero tolerance” for illicit drugs. “Because it makes him look bad, and he wasn’t doing that.”

A woman said she also saw Odom take 10 herbal supplement tablets over three days.

The brothel’s employees said when they found him, Odom was lying in bed on his side with a pinkish fluid coming from his mouth and nose.

’More hopeful now’

Late last week, Odom woke up and spoke for the first time, saying “Hi” to Kardashian, who had rushed to his bedside.

Harrick said that he’s been in touch with her every day. Odom spoke to her Monday, the coach said, telling her “Good morning!” before going back to sleep.

“We’re more hopeful now” that Odom will recover, Harrick said. “We’ve been on pins and needles for days.”

Odom’s maternal aunt, JaNean Mercer, also commented on Monday. She released a written statement which said, “Lamar has always been blessed with a tenacious, fighting spirit, overcoming insurmountable obstacles to achieve the impossible. These past few days have been no different.”

He is “defying the odds in his toughest battle to date” with “God’s grace,” she said.

She added, “We are committed to remaining by his side as a family for our champion, who we love immensely.”

Kardashian a ‘rock’

Harrick was at Kardashian and Odom’s 2009 wedding. They filed for divorce four years later, citing irreconcilable differences.