Steelers Notebook: After another surgery, Sepulveda is punting

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Daniel Sepulveda is back punting, six weeks after he had another surgery on his right knee.

The surgery, previously undisclosed, was to repair a torn meniscus in Sepulveda's plant leg.

It is the same knee that underwent surgery in August to repair a torn ACL and put Sepulveda on injured reserve all season.

The bottom line, Sepulveda said, is that his right knee "feels better than it has in four years or so."

Sepulveda said his anterior cruciate ligament sufficiently healed by Super Bowl XLIII and he had planned to punt during the spring until an MRI discovered the torn meniscus after he mentioned to trainer John Norwig that his knee bothered him.

Norwig ordered an MRI that showed the tear, which was then repaired by arthroscopic surgery.

"Just a little setback," Sepulveda called it, "but we're working our way back from it, and it's good to be back on my feet again."

Sepulveda punted yesterday under supervision of special-teams coach Bob Ligashesky. Sepulveda said he began punting last week and has experienced some frustration at times.

"It's just about getting back in a rhythm. It's been so long since I kicked consistently that stuff is going to happen. You don't kick a perfect ball every time and, when you don't, you get frustrated and ask yourself why. It's just a matter of getting back to the point where you feel good and you get in a rhythm."

He had his first ACL surgery before his senior season at Baylor. The left-footed Sepulveda is thankful all three surgeries were to his right knee and not his left.

"No doubt about it. I mean, all I need is a peg leg over there; just stick that thing in the ground and everything else does the rest of the work."

Big Ben practices

Ben Roethlisberger returned to practice yesterday, wearing a wrap on his left knee, the only sign of the "injury" from practice Wednesday.

And teammate Willie Parker revealed that it was a collision between the running back and quarterback that caused the temporary problem that led to Roethlisberger limping off the practice field.

"Actually, me and him bumped knees on a certain play," Parker said.

Parker then laughed as he said, "But he's definitely all right and he's a competitor. I guess he just likes a lot of attention sometimes and he likes being the little baby, but Ben is definitely a warrior."

Parker said his knee that hit Roethlisberger's was "great."

"We bumped knees, and my knee held up," Parker said.

Camp opens July 31

The Steelers will report to training camp July 31 at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe and hold their first practice Aug. 1, the club announced yesterday.

All afternoon practices are open and begin at 2:55 p.m. The only night practice will take place Aug. 7 at Latrobe Memorial Stadium.

The schedule of training camp practices open to the public:

Aug. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 (7 p.m.), 8, 9, 10, 11, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.

The Steelers break camp Aug. 21.


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