Roethlisberger: Knee fine, 'could play Sunday if I had to'
June 11, 2013 9:00 PM
Matt Freed /Post-Gazette
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger tosses with Bruce Gradkowski during minicamp on the South Side today.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger
By Ed Bouchette Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Ben Roethlisberger shucked his crutches a few days ago and said he could play a game on Sunday if there was one. He'll have to wait until August for that, but he said he will be ready to begin training camp July 26.
Roethlisberger had what he described as cleanup surgery by Dr. James Bradley on his right knee last Wednesday and watched the first day of Steelers minicamp from the sideline, wearing nothing more than a wrap to cover his knee.
"It feels great," Roethlisberger said. "I saw Doc Bradley this morning. He was pleasantly surprised with the range of motion and where we're at with the swelling. It feels great. I've been off crutches for a couple days now and moving around pretty good. I think I could play Sunday if I had to.
Roethlisberger discusses knee surgery
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger discusses his recent knee surgery on the first day of minicamp. (Video by Matt Freed; 6/11/2013)
"According to Doc, the surgery went really well, my knee is in great shape. They took care of the little problem. It had been bothering me a little bit last year and we just decided now is the time to take care of it."
Since the end of last season, Roethlisberger has told reporters how healthy he felt this year. But today, he said the knee had bothered him a little last year and as each week wore on in spring practices, it bothered him some more.
"People say why not [have surgery] earlier? We wanted to try to see if we could manage it. I'd come in on Tuesday and practice, it would feel good and by Thursday it was like a tire slowly losing air. It kind of hurt me on Thursday. We figured it was time to get it done and the doctors agreed."
Roethlisberger missed three games last season with injuries to his right arm and chest. He had played a full 16-game schedule only once in his nine seasons in the NFL.
He had the same thing done to his right knee during the 2005 season, which caused him to miss three games. Back then, it was injured during a game at San Diego. This time, he said there was no specific injury to his knee that prompted the surgery.
"I think it was just general wear and tear. It's my right leg, so it's my plant leg. Every time I drop back I put a lot of pressure on my right leg. A lot of quarterback's right knees are probably a little banged up."