Steelers nose tackle Hampton to have surgery Friday

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Steelers nose tackle Casey Hampton said he will have surgery Friday to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, an injury he sustained in the season-ending playoff loss in Denver.

The Steelers had indicated that Hampton would not need knee surgery, but the five-time Pro Bowl nose tackle told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today he will have the surgery to repair his ACL.

It will be the third time Hampton has had ACL surgery, two of which came during his Steelers career. It is the second time he has had the surgery on his left knee.

Hampton, 34, said he wants to play in 2012, but his salary will be $4.89 million and his cap value will be more than $8 million next season. And team president Art Rooney II said the organization will face "tough decisions" during the offseason because the Steelers are $25 million over the salary cap.

With the retirement of long-time backup nose tackle Chris Hoke, however, the Steelers are not prepared to go into 2012 without both players at what many consider to be the most important position in the 3-4 defense.

The only one backup nose tackle is Steve McLendon.


Gerry Dulac: gdulac@post-gazette.com or on Twitter @gerrydulac.


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