Report from the Southside

PITTSBURGH -- With the return of the Steelers to their practice facility on the South Side of town, reporters are no longer permitted to provide details of the day's practice. However, with so much news going around, no one really needs to know about Lenzie Jackson's diving catch or Nijrell Eason's latest pass deflection.

To start the day, Hines Ward told reporters about his harrowing trip down the Parkway as a bout with appendicitis kicked in. Ward said he was driving in the 90-100 mph range while holding his stomach with both hands. Fortunately for him, the Steelers had moved their departure from the new airport to the tarmac of the old airport, sparing Ward the park, the quarter-mile walk, and the security checkpoints. He pulled right up to the medical staff and they took care of the rest.

Next up was Clark Haggans, who received good news on an injury that was supposed to keep him out a minimum of a month. Instead of ligament damage, Haggans said he damaged a "fat sac" and bruised a bone under the kneecap. He may return to practice this week. "From injured reserve to questionable for Thursday's game," was how Coach Bill Cowher put it.

One surprise was followed by another as Troy Edwards missed practice with a Grade 2 sprain of an MCL. Cowher ruled him out of Thursday's game, so we may have seen the last of the former No. 1 pick in a black and gold uniform. Speaking of which, the Steelers made 15 cuts and the major names were R.J. Bowers, Cory Geason, and LaVar Glover, the only draft pick cut. Bowers expressed his love for the organization to Cowher, who responded, "You never know in this business," meaning the running back from Grove City could return.

In another positive injury report, Kendrell Bell had his cast removed Sunday and was standing on his tiptoes Monday. "That's always a good sign with high ankle sprains," Cowher said. And Bell is expected to return to practice next week.

Chris Fuamatu-Ma'afala (glute), Chad Scott (shoulder), and Kendall Simmons (hamstring) also missed Monday's practice with minor injuries, but could all return Tuesday.

-- Jim Wexell


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