Steelers' Harrison has back surgery

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Steelers linebacker James Harrison underwent surgery on his back this morning that coach Mike Tomlin labeled a "success."

Harrison was scheduled to have the surgery on his lower back a week earlier but it was delayed when he came down with a fever.

Dr. Joseph Maroon performed what's known as a discectomy to remove a piece of herniated disc off a nerve that had been bothering Harrison all season.

"Everything went great," said Bill Parise, his agent. "the consensus was no one could figure out how he could play through the season. It was significant but textbook. The surgery went exactly as they wanted it to. James' recovery should be complete."

Tomlin also said today that he expects all of his players who were injured or had surgeries over the past year to be ready for the 2011 season. They include offensive tackle Willie Colon and wide receiver Limas Sweed, both of whom had ruptured Achilles tendons last June and missed the 2010 season. Others are offensive tackle Max Starks (neck surgery), defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps surgery) and those who have had surgeries since the season ended, among them wide receivers Hines Ward (knee) and Emmanuel Sanders (foot).

The coach added that he expects his entire staff to return except for Ray Horton, who took a job at the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals. Tomlin said he is in no rush to hire a new secondary coach to replace Horton.


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