The Post-Gazette today talks about the Darnell Stapleton injury, and how he feels he will be back on the field in time for the season:
Darnell Stapleton expects to be ready to play for the Steelers before the end of the preseason. Where that will be remains unanswered.
Stapleton, the Steelers’ starting right guard last season, said his right knee will be evaluated by doctors on Wednesday or Thursday, about two weeks since loose cartilage was removed through arthroscopic surgery.
“Hopefully in a week or so I’ll be back out there,” Stapleton said yesterday. “There’s no doubt in my mind I’ll be back to play this season.”
Stapleton has not practiced since Aug. 2, the second day of training camp. He had been handling the center’s duties with the first team because Justin Hartwig reported to camp with a broken right big toe.
Hartwig returned to practice full time Saturday and Trai Essex has been the right guard since the start of camp. When Stapleton returns, he could find himself as the backup center and guard or competing again for his old job with Essex.
“It’s frustrating, we had a great season last year and you want to come in and be with your guys and be in camp and build as a unit,” Stapleton said. “But stuff happens sometimes.”
This time, it was not as bad as some thought it might be. An MRI did not show a problem and some feared the worst before what Tomlin described as “exploratory” surgery.
“Yeah, I heard it could have been a little worse procedure,” Stapleton said. “I’m glad it was just a scope, which I had my rookie year and I was back in three, four weeks. I’m keeping that time frame in mind.”
Stapleton had similar surgery in 2007 on his left knee.
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