Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, less than a week removed from knee surgery, said he “could play Sunday if I had to.”
That would be weird, since it’s still June and the season doesn’t start for three months.
Roethlisberger described last Wednesday’s surgery by Dr. James Bradley as a routine cleanup, and he’s already gotten rid of his crutches.
“It feels great,” Roethlisberger said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I saw Doc Bradley this morning. He was pleasantly surprised with the range of motion and where we’re at with the swelling. It feels great. I’ve been off crutches for a couple days now and moving around pretty good. I think I could play Sunday if I had to.
“According to Doc, the surgery went really well, my knee is in great shape. They took care of the little problem. It had been bothering me a little bit last year and we just decided now is the time to take care of it.”
Training camp opens July 26, and Roethlisberger’s optimism now is a good sign. Of course, his history indicates he’s going to miss some time at some point this year (he’s played 16 games once). But he said after trying to manage the knee pain, he elected to have the procedure now rather than try to push through it.
“People say why not [have surgery] earlier? We wanted to try to see if we could manage it,” he said. “I’d come in on Tuesday and practice, it would feel good and by Thursday it was like a tire slowly losing air. It kind of hurt me on Thursday. We figured it was time to get it done and the doctors agreed.
“I think it was just general wear and tear. It’s my right leg, so it’s my plant leg. Every time I drop back I put a lot of pressure on my right leg. A lot of quarterback’s right knees are probably a little banged up.”
Those knees are also the reason they decided to upgrade at backup quarterback this year, bringing in Bruce Gradkowski to replace the old and equally infirmed Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich.