Hall of Famer
With Big Ben's injury history, no surgery is "minor"
With Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, there's no longer such a thing as "minor" surgery.
Roethlisberger had arthroscopic surgery to clean out his right knee yesterday, the team announced, but he should be back in time to participate in training camp this summer. The same procedure cost him a game back in 2005.
The consummate tough guy, Roethlisberger would be back out there tomorrow if it were possible. He's played through injuries his entire career, many the result of heavy punishment taken behind a shaky offensive line.
Roethlisberger also plays an improvisational brand of football that lends itself to hits outside the pocket. As he extends plays, defenders are coming from all angles, but at 6-5 and 240 pounds, what's the harm in a little contact?
Well, none, so long as he keeps bouncing back up. But as Roethlisberger gets older -- he's now 31 -- and the mileage adds up, one can't help but wonder how much harder that's going to become.
Roethlisberger has suffered chest, rib, thumb, ankle, knee, shoulder, head, hand and foot injuries throughout his career. And those are just SOME of his documented ailments; who knows what else he's played through.
He nearly died in a motorcycle crash. A freakish rib injury he suffered last season was called "rare and dangerous" and threatened to end his life.
In quarterback years, 31 is far from old. Some of the most successful signal callers in the NFL -- Tom Brady, Peyton Manning and Drew Brees -- are Roethlisberger's elder. Roethlisberger, though, takes exponentially more punishment, almost as much as some running backs.
Perhaps that's why the time came to find a quarterback and attempt to groom him into a viable starter. By the time Roethlisberger's career is in the books, he could very well go down as a Hall of Famer. But that doesn't mean it's wise for the Steelers to go without an insurance policy.
Pittsburgh selected Landry Jones, another big, strong-armed quarterback, in the fourth round of the 2013 NFL draft.
Roethlisberger has consistently defied expectations to this point, playing through injuries that would have kept his peers in street clothes. The question is, how quickly can he keep bouncing up?
The knee procedure he had yesterday was minor, but only adds to those concerns.
Same operation in 2005? Is that when his meniscus was torn by a dirty hit from Luis "I like steroids" Castillo?
Because that's a very different thing altogether...
Yeah, i believe so.. this time the surgery is on the opposite leg..
Originally Posted by Slapstick
Roethlisberger says he could play this week on knee
Posted by Darin Gantt on June 11, 2013
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, less than a week removed from knee surgery, said he “could play Sunday if I had to.”
That would be weird, since it’s still June and the season doesn’t start for three months.
Roethlisberger described last Wednesday’s surgery by Dr. James Bradley as a routine cleanup, and he’s already gotten rid of his crutches.
“It feels great,” Roethlisberger said, via Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “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.
“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.”
Training camp opens July 26, and Roethlisberger’s optimism now is a good sign. Of course, his history indicates he’s going to miss some time at some point this year (he’s played 16 games once). But he said after trying to manage the knee pain, he elected to have the procedure now rather than try to push through it.
“People say why not [have surgery] earlier? We wanted to try to see if we could manage it,” he said. “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.
“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.”
Those knees are also the reason they decided to upgrade at backup quarterback this year, bringing in Bruce Gradkowski to replace the old and equally infirmed Charlie Batch and Byron Leftwich.