View Full Version : Steelers linebacker Harrison eases back into practice

08-01-2011, 12:07 AM
Steelers linebacker Harrison eases back into practice
Monday, August 1, 2011
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 49352.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_749352.html)

James Harrison didn't throw his body around much during the Steelers' first contact drills in pads Sunday at St. Vincent College in Latrobe.

The veteran linebacker hasn't completely healed from two offseason back surgeries. But the four-time Pro Bowler is eager to unleash the pent-up fury stored since a 31-25 loss to Green Bay in Super Bowl XLV.

"You look forward to getting a little contact in, because that's what the game is about," Harrison said before yesterday's practice. "It's going to be a good test, especially for the young guys. There's been a lot of barking, but now we'll see who's going to bite.

"I may step away from some of contact. So, the changes (shorter practice sessions) they made are lovely."

Harrison, though, couldn't completely curb his enthusiasm. He punished rookie running back Baron Batch in the back-on-back drills, but eased up in the scrimmages.

"I'm not too nervous right now," said Harrison, who is likely to play on sparingly during the exhibition season. "It's a little slow, but nothing I can't deal with. I won't be 100 percent (before the season opener at Baltimore)."

Harrison was forced to have a second surgery after he experienced leg pain several days after the first operation.

"In the course of 5 to 7 days I was getting some of the same pain going down my leg," he said. "I didn't have the strength even then, so I had them do another MRI. They (surgeons) said it would be a 10 percent chance I might have to go back. So I did, and we got it all done.

"I was feeling twice as good after the second surgery. The pain was down from my butt to my feet. Sometimes, you don't have the power and it just gives out. You can't feel your feet. You can't feel your legs. It's something you have to deal with."

Harrison, too, has to avoid overextending himself in the weight room. He scaled back from squatting as much as 700 pounds to 315 to 365 pounds.

"I'm in the process of trying to get the strength back," Harrison said. "But I'll play with (the injury) this year the way I did last year. "

Harrison was quick to reject the idea that his injured back rendered him ineffective during the 2010 playoffs - including the Super Bowl. Linebacker James Farrior said the Steelers' success defensively depends greatly on Harrison's recovery.

"Anytime you have major surgery, it'll put you back a little bit," Farrior said. "I have all the confidence in the world that James will do everything he can to get ready for the season because he's taken all the proper steps."

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08-01-2011, 07:23 PM
Injured Steelers' Harrison going half-speed

Posted: Sunday, July 31, 2011
By Andrew Chiappazzi Times Sports Correspondent


James Harrison and coach Mike Tomlin joke around on the first day with pads.

?LATROBE ó Itís hard to imagine James Harrison shying away from contact. But, in a sense, thatís what might happen during the early portion of training camp. Sunday was the first day the Steelers donned pads in practice, and Harrison said that he may limit the contact in the early going.

It has nothing to do with the fines he received last year for late hits and everything to do with being cautious with his surgically repaired back.

Harrison said he expects to be completely healthy from his offseason back surgery at some point but that he doesnít really have a timetable for it. Heís practicing, but the transition to full contact may take a little extra time for the veteran linebacker.
ďI just came off surgery, so I may step away from some of the contact things,Ē Harrison said.

He ended up participating in a handful of contact drills ó including an interesting showdown with rookie running back Baron Batch in a blocking drill ó but did not have the number of reps that other linebackers had.

Harrisonís health was overshadowed by the controversy surrounding his comments on Roger Goodell, Ben Roethlisberger, and Rashard Mendenhall in a magazine article. But after playing through pain last year, the eighth-year pro decided to have it fixed in the spring.

ďItís constant pain from your butt all the way down to your foot,Ē Harrison said. ďAt times you just donít have the power or you canít feel your legs. Now, itís just a process of getting your strength back.Ē

The initial work didnít do enough to alleviate the pain, so Harrison went back under the knife. Harrison has been rehabbing all offseason and said heís about 70- to 80-percent healthy.

The surgery forced Harrison to adapt to a new training regimen, as he hasnít been able to work out as intensely as he usually would.

ďYeah you have to peel back a little bit,Ē he said. ďIím not squatting 600, 700 pounds. Iím keeping it low at 315, 365, something like that.Ē

As for the thought that there might be some hesitation on resuming his intensely physical play once heís completely healthy, Harrison isnít concerned.

ďIím not too nervous,Ē he said. ďIím just going through the process that weíre doing right now. Itís a little sore, but itís nothing that I canít deal with.Ē

http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... e6491.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/injured-steelers-harrison-going-half-speed/article_e9974a19-450c-5f69-9088-24d61cbe6491.html)

08-01-2011, 08:20 PM
Hope he heals 100% and not the beginning of the end.

Lambert retired due to turf toe. Any back injury can certainly limit any player.

08-03-2011, 03:23 AM
Steelers' Harrison tries to shrug off injuries, too

Wednesday, August 03, 2011
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Steelers linebacker James Harrison goes through drills during training camp in Latrobe Tuesday.

Troy Polamalu and James Harrison share something more than being past winners of the NFL's defensive player of the year award and the best players on the league's top defense.

They each will enter the 2011 season with questions about their health and ability to play at 100 percent efficiency.

Polamalu, a five-time Pro Bowl safety and the NFL's top defensive player in 2010, is coming back from a partially torn Achilles tendon that required months of rehabilitation but no surgery.

Harrison, a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker and the 2008 defensive player of the year, is trying to make a comeback from double back surgery in March to alleviate the pain that ran from his buttocks to his feet.

"It was constant pain," Harrison said. "Sometimes, you just don't have the power. Can't feel your foot, can't feel your leg. It's just something you have to deal with. I dealt with it and, right now, I'm in the process of trying to get the strength back. The pain that was shooting down your leg, that's gone."

Like Polamalu, Harrison said he is not fully recovered from his health issues and does not know when he will be. But that has not stopped him from being on the field at Saint Vincent College for the first two practices in pads.

And it did not prevent him from competing in the blitz-pickup drill Sunday, either, when he crashed into rookie running back Baron Batch in a standoff collision.

"I'm not too nervous," Harrison said. "I'm just going through the process that we're doing now. It's a little sore, but it's nothing that I can't deal with.

"I just came off surgery, so I may step away from some of the contact anyway. The [rule] changes they made, I'll just say it's lovely, it's lovely right now."

Harrison, 33, said he does not know when he will be able to go "full bore," and he was unclear when he thinks he will be 100 percent recovered from the surgery.

"Eventually," he said.

Harrison, though, played in similar, if not worse, discomfort last season, but that did not stop him from registering double-digit sacks (10 1/2) for the third consecutive season and being named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl.

After the Super Bowl, he had back surgery Feb. 21 to remove part of a herniated disk, then went back in for an unplanned surgery March 3 to do some unexpected cleanup. The latter procedure delayed his rehabilitation another two weeks.

"Over the course of five to seven days or so, I was getting some of the pains going down my leg," Harrison said. "I didn't have the strength even then. So I had them do another MRI, and they just didn't get it all. There was a 10 percent chance I might have to go back. I went back in and got it all done.

"From the time that we had the surgery, actually from the time I was noticing what was wrong before ... seven days later I was feeling twice as good."

And how will Harrison fight through the discomfort until his back feels strong?

"Just like I did last year," he said.

"It's not an excuse. I'm not going to use it as an excuse. Other guys have injuries. I played through it. I made it. That's it."

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