Minor infection to delay surgery for Steelers' Harrison
By Len Pasquarelli
Feb. 14, 2011
An infection that is not considered serious forced Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Harrison to postpone back surgery scheduled for Monday.
Agent Bill Parise confirmed late Monday afternoon that the back surgery, which he described to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as "routine" earlier in the day, had been pushed back. A Steelers source concurred with that.
"It's nothing serious, just a virus or something, and once it runs its course, he'll have (the surgery)," Parise said.
There had been some confusion about the surgery, since various reports over the weekend had characterized it as a procedure to Harrison's right shoulder. But the surgery, Parise emphasized, is for a minor, lower-back injury. Harrison, who did sustain a shoulder injury in a division-round victory over Baltimore, and may undergo some non-surgical treatment, is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks after the operation.
Harrison, 32, finished third this season in the voting for defensive player of the year, an honor he captured in 2008. The seven-year veteran started every game at right outside linebacker, and posted 100 tackles, 10.5 sacks, six forced fumbles, two interceptions and five passes defensed. It marked the third straight season in which Harrison registered double-digit sacks. He was named to a fourth consecutive Pro Bowl appearance, but, of course, did not play because the Steelers were in Super Bowl XLV.
Harrison has been extremely durable since moving into the starting lineup in 2007. In the past four seasons, the onetime undrafted free agent has missed just one regular-season appearance and one start. For his career, he has 488 tackles and 49 sacks in 107 games and 71 starts.