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BlitzburghRockCity 08-08-2005 11:58 PM

Bettis is ready to rock!!
Jerome Bettis crossed his fingers for good luck Monday, in hopes that backfield mate Duce Staley will recover from a torn lateral meniscus of the right knee in time for the season opener Sept. 11 against Tennessee.
But if Staley's rehab is slow, The Bus said he's ready to "rock."

"When I made the decision to come back, I made it based on me being able to go 16 weeks," said Bettis, 33, who contemplated retirement this off-season after running for 941 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. "That was the goal."

The goal for the Steelers is to have Staley ready for the opener in 33 days at Heinz Field, though they won't push him as long as Bettis is available. Staley underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday, and the procedure revealed the torn lateral (outside) meniscus in his right knee.

Lateral meniscus tears often do not require surgery beyond arthroscopy. Surgeons either remove the torn tissue or make a repair during the arthroscopic procedure. Steelers Orthopedist Dr. James Bradley performed the surgery on Staley yesterday morning in Pittsburgh.

Staley returned to St. Vincent College last night to begin a rehabilitation program.

"The prognosis right now is a month," coach Bill Cowher said of Staley, who's missed parts of three of the past five seasons due to injuries, none knee related. "We're hopeful that we'll have him by the beginning of the season. We feel good about the long-term situation for Duce."

Staley had no issues with the knee in the offseason, according to Cowher. The 30-year-old back began experiencing discomfort after the team's first full practice last Tuesday, when the knee swelled. Staley had the knee drained the following day and has not participated in contact work since. By Saturday, Cowher said Staley "didn't feel right," so the next step was an MRI, then the arthroscopic procedure.

"There were some arthritic changes in there, and Dr. Bradley had to clean some of that out," Cowher said. "It was as good as could be expected. We've ruled out any microfracture (which caused Charlie Batch to miss all of last season) or any of that stuff."

Staley is expected to carry the load for the Steelers this season, but his injury gives way to Bettis, and, to a lesser extent, backups Willie Parker, Verron Haynes and rookie Noah Herron for the time being.

Bettis said last week he was comfortable playing the role of backup, but he proclaimed yesterday that he could carry the team for as long as needed. Asked if he's capable of toting the ball 250 times, like he did last year, the 13-year veteran didn't hesitate.

"If they need it," he said. "If they need 300, I can do it."

clevestinks 08-09-2005 06:06 AM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
I`m glad Bettis is ready! BUT! We may have some issues?????????????

Prosdo 08-09-2005 09:21 AM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
Bettis can definitely carry his load, but it would also nice to have Duce healthy by the start of the season.

pitt 08-09-2005 11:15 AM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
Last night I watched "In Their Own Words" with Jerome on NFL network. He is DEFINATELY ready to rock.

CantStop85 08-09-2005 01:14 PM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
With his work ethic, he still has 2 more solid years in him.

SteelR1 08-09-2005 10:00 PM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
Im sure he's ready. It would nice to see Duce or somebody else take a little load off him at some point in the season to try to keep him ready for the playoffs, that is if were blessed to be there..

Just had to throw that last part in there so I wont jinx us............

BlitzburghRockCity 08-09-2005 10:17 PM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
Very close 85....With his work ethic he has 10 years left in him ;) , but w/ his body, he's got maybe 2.

ironcitychef 08-10-2005 04:45 PM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
I think he would be very fired up to again be the opening day starter, no if only he could last all year. That story about him not being able to climb steps on Mondays just won't go away.:crutches:

SteelProven 08-10-2005 05:02 PM

Re: Bettis is ready to rock!!
IMO Bettis is good enough to hold up for 1-3 games while Duce recovers ( completely ). I just don't think he could do it for a full 16 games. But while most doubt every offensive player on our team they produce when asked.

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