The Pittsburgh Steelers wrapped up their first mandatory mini camp practice on Tuesday and starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger met the media afterwards to talk about the minor surgical procedure he had performed last week on his right knee.
“It feels great,” Roethlisberger said, when asked how his knee is currently feeling. “I saw Dr. Bradley this morning, and he was pleasantly surprised with the range of motion and where we are at, and the swelling. So, it feels great. I’ve been off crutches for a couple of days now. I’m moving around good. I think I could play Sunday if I had to.”
While the Steelers certainly won\’t need Roethlisberger to play for several more Sundays, the quarterback insisted that he will be ready for the start of training camp.
“Absolutely. I honestly think I could go next week if I had to,” said Roethlisberger, who is currently helping out the other quarterbacks on the roster during practices and riding a stationary bike as part of his early rehab.
During the interview, Roethlisberger wanted to make it clear that his most-recent procedure was done to clean things up in his knee and not to repair a tear. In addition, he clarified it was indeed the same knee that required surgery during the 2005 season which ultimately forced him to miss the next three games.
“The same knee,” Roethlisberger said when asked about the confusion. “There were some reports but it was the same knee. So it was a very similar thing.”
Roethlisberger revealed on Tuesday that the knee bothered him some last season, and that they decided to get it taken care of it now after initially trying to manage it through the first two weeks of OTA practices.
“People said why not earlier. Well, we wanted to try to see if we could manage. I’d come in on Tuesday to practice and it would feel good, and by Thursday, it was almost like a tire was slowly losing air. It kind of hurt me on Thursday. We figured it was time to get it done. Doctors agreed and said let’s do it now.”
The best thing about the timing of the procedure is that Roethlisberger was able to get in two solid weeks of practice prior to needing it done. There is now plenty of time for him to rehab and be ready for the start of training camp late next month and this should certainly please Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who didn\’t get a chance to face Roethlisberger at all last season.