Scott broke a bone in his right hand Dec. 23 while attempting to punch the ball from the hands of Tampa Bay receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Scott instead connected with Johnson's shoulder pads and has since missed two games, including last week's playoff game against the Cleveland Browns.
The Steelers missed Scott against the Browns, who posted the second-highest passing-yardage total against the Steelers in playoff history. Cowher, at his Tuesday press conference, put the onus on Scott to return.
"We were hopeful to have him last week. He wasn't there," Cowher said. "We're hopeful to have him this week. If he'll be there, great. If not, we're moving on. It's simple. I mean I'm not going to get into specifics. It's his thumb. It's a broken thumb. It's a very sensitive situation. He's got to feel comfortable playing with it. If he's comfortable playing with it, he will play. If not, he won't."
Scott's teammates also expect him to play with pain.
"Guys know what time of year it is," linebacker Joey Porter said. "Kendrell (Bell) was really in a situation where he really shouldn't have played last week, but it's playoff time."
Bell took a painkilling injection and played Sunday. He aggravated his ankle injury and left the game in the fourth quarter. Bell is listed as questionable this week and didn't practice yesterday. Scott did practice and Cowher was impressed.
"I was surprised he took as many snaps as he did," Cowher said.
It only supported what Scott had promised earlier in the locker room - or equipment room - as reporters shouted their questions.
Scott was asked how the injury, which will be encased in a soft cast, would hamper him.
"I don't know. We'll see," Scott said.
Does it hurt less this week?
"Yeah. It's getting better."
Is it a pain thing?
"I really don't want to talk about it."
Will it feel good to be back?
"Of course. I want to play.:
How effective will you be?
"I'm going to be all right.:
Will they pick on you?
"I don't really care. When I come out on that field I'm not going to be trying to think about my hand. I'm just going to be playing."
Will it cause you problems catching the ball?
"I can still catch. I'll work on it in practice."
Is tackling an issue?
"No. I'm just going to practice and work on it in practice. I think I'll be fine once I get in the game."
What's the key for getting the secondary back on track?
"We made the playoffs. We're winning. We're on the right track. There's been a lot of pass yardage all over the league. We can't worry about that.:
Can you help?
"I know I can help."
Did Cowher's comments the previous day sound like a plea?
"I want to play. Nobody wants to play more than me. It's not like I don't want to play. I wish I could've played in the Cleveland game but unfortunately I wasn't able to. It was just too much pain at that point in time."
Is it up to you?
It's a pain issue. Sometimes they can numb it and stuff like that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. We'll see what happens.
Will you need an injection before the game?
"We'll see. Hopefully not."
Did you take an injection last week?
"I don't have no more to say about it. I'm looking forward to playing next week."