Notebook: Polamalu has cartilage injury

Strong safety Troy Polamalu said Wednesday he suffered a cartilage tear in his ribcage while recovering a fumble at the end of the first half of Sunday' 21-14 loss at Arizona.

PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu said Wednesday he suffered a cartilage tear in his ribcage while recovering a fumble at the end of the first half of Sunday' 21-14 loss at Arizona.

Polamalu, who did not practice Wednesday, sat out the entire second half of Sunday's game with what was initially diagnosed as an abdominal strain. He is expected to play this weekend against Seattle. In fact, Polamalu said he had to be talked out of playing against Arizona.

"I wanted to go back in, definitely," he said. "But it was the fourth game of the season. There was no reason to make any injury worse and sit our six or seven more weeks."

Could he have done so?

"I don't know, I was going to find out by going out there," Polamalu said.

WARD CLOSE

He's no longer using crutches to help him walk or even wearing a brace on his injured right knee, but Steelers receiver Hines Ward remains somewhat iffy to play in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ward, who suffered a sprained knee in the team's victory two weeks ago over the San Francisco 49ers, says he feels better now than he did last week, but went for an MRI Wednesday to assess how his recovery is coming.

"Last week I was on crutches and had a brace. I'm off the brace and I don't have anything now," said Ward, the team's all-time leader in receptions. "It's felt good so far. It's good to be able go on the stairmaster for 30 minutes straight at a hard level. That's very good. I'm very positive of my rehab and how it's going."

With a bye week coming up following Sunday's game and division games against Cincinnati, Baltimore and Cleveland coming up soon after that, Ward said there is a possibility he may sit out a second consecutive game to give the knee an opportunity to further heal.

"For me, I'm going to do all I can to be ready this week, but I have to be smart because that stretch of games is going to be big for this team as far as where we're going to go as far as postseason," Ward said.

Ben Roethlisberger would certainly welcome Ward back this week if its possible.

"Shoot, it's Hines Ward. He's a leader. He's a competitor. He's a blocker. He's a catcher," said Roethlisberger. "He means so much to this offense, I'm hoping he'll be back. I'm asking him about every five minutes if he'll be back. He doesn't seem to know yet. I hope he's back."

FACING THE BEST

As the only new starter on the Steelers' defense this season, outside linebacker James Harrison has played well replacing Joey Porter, recording 17 tackles and a pair of sacks in the team's first four games.

Sunday, he faces the unenviable task of lining up opposite Seattle left tackle Walter Jones, widely considered the best offensive lineman in the NFL.

"He's good on his feet and he's quick," said Harrison of the 6-5, 315-pound Jones. "Any lineman who's that good on his feet and is that quick, he's going to give you trouble."

But that doesn't mean Harrison doesn't expect to have some success Sunday.

"Anybody can be beat … nobody's Superman," said Harrison. "They run a lot of their plays behind him. It's going to be a challenge, I guess. But I'm up to it."

QUICK NOTES

The Steelers released running back Jamaal Branch from their practice squad and signed running back Justin Vincent, a former LSU standout to replace him. … Not practicing for the Steelers Wednesday in addition to Polamalu and Ward were nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (ankle). … Roethlisberger was limited in practice with a bruised foot, but expects to return to full duty today.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter.

Steel City Insider Top Stories

","mobileBody":"PITTSBURGH – Pittsburgh Steelers strong safety Troy Polamalu said Wednesday he suffered a cartilage tear in his ribcage while recovering a fumble at the end of the first half of Sunday' 21-14 loss at Arizona.

Polamalu, who did not practice Wednesday, sat out the entire second half of Sunday's game with what was initially diagnosed as an abdominal strain. He is expected to play this weekend against Seattle. In fact, Polamalu said he had to be talked out of playing against Arizona.

\"I wanted to go back in, definitely,\" he said. \"But it was the fourth game of the season. There was no reason to make any injury worse and sit our six or seven more weeks.\"

Could he have done so?

\"I don't know, I was going to find out by going out there,\" Polamalu said.

He's no longer using crutches to help him walk or even wearing a brace on his injured right knee, but Steelers receiver Hines Ward remains somewhat iffy to play in Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks.

Ward, who suffered a sprained knee in the team's victory two weeks ago over the San Francisco 49ers, says he feels better now than he did last week, but went for an MRI Wednesday to assess how his recovery is coming.

\"Last week I was on crutches and had a brace. I'm off the brace and I don't have anything now,\" said Ward, the team's all-time leader in receptions. \"It's felt good so far. It's good to be able go on the stairmaster for 30 minutes straight at a hard level. That's very good. I'm very positive of my rehab and how it's going.\"

With a bye week coming up following Sunday's game and division games against Cincinnati, Baltimore and Cleveland coming up soon after that, Ward said there is a possibility he may sit out a second consecutive game to give the knee an opportunity to further heal.

\"For me, I'm going to do all I can to be ready this week, but I have to be smart because that stretch of games is going to be big for this team as far as where we're going to go as far as postseason,\" Ward said.

Ben Roethlisberger would certainly welcome Ward back this week if its possible.

\"Shoot, it's Hines Ward. He's a leader. He's a competitor. He's a blocker. He's a catcher,\" said Roethlisberger. \"He means so much to this offense, I'm hoping he'll be back. I'm asking him about every five minutes if he'll be back. He doesn't seem to know yet. I hope he's back.\"

As the only new starter on the Steelers' defense this season, outside linebacker James Harrison has played well replacing Joey Porter, recording 17 tackles and a pair of sacks in the team's first four games.

Sunday, he faces the unenviable task of lining up opposite Seattle left tackle Walter Jones, widely considered the best offensive lineman in the NFL.

\"He's good on his feet and he's quick,\" said Harrison of the 6-5, 315-pound Jones. \"Any lineman who's that good on his feet and is that quick, he's going to give you trouble.\"

But that doesn't mean Harrison doesn't expect to have some success Sunday.

\"Anybody can be beat … nobody's Superman,\" said Harrison. \"They run a lot of their plays behind him. It's going to be a challenge, I guess. But I'm up to it.\"

The Steelers released running back Jamaal Branch from their practice squad and signed running back Justin Vincent, a former LSU standout to replace him. … Not practicing for the Steelers Wednesday in addition to Polamalu and Ward were nose tackle Casey Hampton (hamstring) and cornerback Bryant McFadden (ankle). … Roethlisberger was limited in practice with a bruised foot, but expects to return to full duty today.

Dale Lolley appears courtesy of the Observer-Reporter. 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