Pittsburgh Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel suffered a groin injury against the Denver Broncos in the AFC Wild Card game and it appears that he is now fully recovered. The injury was termed "severe" after it happened, but by many accounts the 33-year old Keisel was able to avoid offseason surgery and it appears he is ready for his 11th year in the league.
Keisel told Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider in an interview that he credits Steelers strength and conditioning coach Garrett Giemont for helping him get his body back and that he feels ready to go now and ready to get back out on the field again. Keisel told Wexell that his age is not a factor at all with him and that he feels like he has gotten better as he has gotten older. He also added that he is not concerned about his ability to still go out and perform at a high level at all.
Despite missing two early games in 2011 with a sprained knee suffered against the Seattle Seahawks, Keisel ended up having a great season as recorded 48 tackles, of which 33 were deemed solo, to go along with 3 quarterback sacks and 6 defensed passes. He also chipped in an unofficial 23 quarterback pressures in his 14 regular season games that he played in as well.
With defensive captain James Farrior now gone, Keisel will be a player on defense that will have an even greater leadership role in 2012 and he told Wexell, "I’m excited about it. Being the leader of a great franchise like the Pittsburgh Steelers is something that’s a great opportunity."
Judging by a few other comments Keisel made in the interview, it appears that the beard will once again be back in 2012 as well, because that is what the people want.
Make sure to check out the entire interview with Wexell.