Notebook: Ward injury not healing

LATROBE – Ben Roethlisberger banged his thumb off a shoulder pad and sent news vans screeching into the night. Bill Cowher expects him to be fine, but the more serious injury might be Hines Ward's hamstring.

Hines Ward missed another practice Tuesday and the Pittsburgh Steelers' star wide receiver doesn't see an end in sight.

"I'm frustrated," he said. "I'm doing treatment, working out, rehabbing three times a day. I'm doing everything I'm supposed to do, but I'm flying in my people today from Atlanta to come up and see if they can work with it and just go from there. It is frustrating."

Ward's "people" are his personal trainers who worked with him this offseason. Ward reported in what he felt was the best shape of his life, but by the end of the first week of training camp he injured his left hamstring. Friday will mark two weeks that Ward has stood on the sidelines.

Last year, Ward injured his right hamstring and didn't miss any regular-season action. This one, he believes, is more serious.

"It's different because it ain't got right. I still feel something in it," he said. "I came out here the other day to try to do something on it because I thought I was healed, but I felt something and didn't want to risk anything. I don't want this ongoing during the regular season."

Ward injured the hamstring on the last play of the two-minute drill two Fridays ago. He came back the following week to give it a try, but stopped because it didn't feel right. He did the same on Monday and gave up in frustration.

"I don't want to keep aggravating the injury so that it never heals," he said. "I look at Steve Smith. He was out two weeks and a day. Terrell Owens has been out for a long time. I want to be out here competing but it sucks being out here not doing anything."


Chukky Okobi talked to reporters Tuesday and showed that he's not only recovering quickly from surgery on a herniated disk in his neck, but that he's regained his sense of humor.

"Look, I can turn my neck. I'm not human," he said. "You don't understand; I don't even have a belly button. That's because I wasn't born. An asteroid came down in the middle of the field and there I was."

Okobi said that while he possesses super-hero capabilities, he must see the doctor on Monday for an update. He apparently found out about the condition even though there was no pain.

"I said I'm not human. I was out there destroying and dominating everything I touched -- with one arm.

"Nah, I'd been having pain for about two weeks, a lot of pain, but I was fighting through it. That's how we do it, you play through pain, but it gets to the point where you say, enough's enough. So I had it checked. But I'll be back. Bet on it."


Sean Morey injured his wrist blocking on Monday and reported Tuesday with a cast. Cowher doesn't believe the injury's serious.

Roethlisberger banged his thumb and Cowher said he "looked fine. He was stretching with us."

Cowher said he'd pass along an injury update at his Thursday press conference.

Duce Staley and Clint Kriewaldt were also given the afternoon practice off.

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