Cowher on Roethlisberger's injury

Cowher on Roethlisberger's injury

Bill Cowher: Ben (Roethlisberger) had surgery this morning at St. Margaret's performed by (team doctor) Jim Bradley. It was basically a 15-minute procedure. He had the MRI done Tuesday. He had a lateral meniscus tear. He had a second opinion that resulted in him talking to Dr. (James) Andrews in Atlanta. He talked with Ben and everybody involved.

BC: He felt much better yesterday. But the consensus was this was something that if we let it go and he played this week, the longer he went with this, the risk of injury would increase and he could be out for an extended period of time. He went in this morning and Jim performed arthroscopic surgery on a portion of the meniscus that was torn. He's resting comfortably at home. His recovery time, I'm not going to say at this time, but he's not going to play this week and we'll assess it next Tuesday. Everything went very well and after talking with Jim and (trainer) John Norwig it was clearly the right thing to do. I feel that even more so after the surgery this morning. Going in right now, Charlie (Batch) will start, Tommy (Maddox) will back up and we'll go from there.

What's the time frame for a recovery?
BC: We have to make sure he has all of his range of motion back, make sure the wounds are healed and you're looking at 10 to 14 days. We'll see how he is next week and go from there.

Did you have to talk him into the surgery?
BC: Yeah. He wants to play pretty much through everything. Sitting down last night and talking about what the options were, I think there was no question that this was the right thing to do. He has been very cooperative and he understands it and he handled it very well.

Meniscus tears range from small to very significant, where is this one?
BC: The terms you had were small and significant, it was on the side of small.

Was the surgery successful in cleaning up all of the area?
BC: Everything was fine, like I said, it was a 15-minute procedure. As you know with some of these things, you can continue to go on and play, but the risk long term is that it can become a bone bruise and then it becomes more of a four to six-week injury. This was not relative to what took place in San Diego, it was the other knee. This is the one that actually bothered him from the first game against Tennessee. It's kind of bothered him off and on. And I think the other night it really kind of aggravated it when the knee got twisted on the one throw, kind of got stuck there on the ground. I feel good about the fact that we did what we did and took a proactive approach.

Charlie hasn't played in a while, how confident are you in him?
BC: I have a lot of confidence in him. Obviously he's excited about it. But really this is about our football team. We talked about it Wednesday. Good football teams win close games. Good football teams have quality depth. Ideally you go through a whole season and you don't lose anybody. Those are rare occasions. I think this football team has different players stepping up every week. It's not the same players week-in and week-out. I think again this season we're going to have to take on the same qualities. It's going to be a different cast of characters because we have a different football team. I like the fact the players we have are unselfish. They're workers and they're able to keep things in perspective. When it's all said and done, it's not the circumstances that test you, it's how you deal with them. I truly believe that. We will be tested by this set of circumstances. It's going to be a defining moment for this football team.

How great is it to have veteran backups?
BC: It's great to have veterans like Charlie and Tommy. We have tested our depth at that position the last few years. There's a lot to be said for having the people we do. I like the quality of depth we have. I've downgraded Jerome Bettis today from questionable to doubtful. Duce Staley is getting himself ready to play in this game. We have a lot of young players playing. I think it's very important that we have veteran leadership around those guys. We have veterans that have been there and understand what the expectation level is to play a big game and win a big game and recognize that you have better put that behind you quickly because you're only as good as your next game. I like what we have on this football team from that mix. We're going up to play a good Green Bay team that has six losses. Four of those losses are by three points or less. Another loss is seven points. Five of their six losses are by seven or less. They could be 5-2. They've got a quarterback who just threw five interceptions and we all know that it is uncharacteristic of him and what he's going to be like in this game. But it's more about us and how we deal with the situation and the circumstances that we have been dealt. It will test us, but there is good veteran leadership.

(Antwaan) Randle El the No. 3 or will you bring back Rod Rutherford?
BC: Randle El will be three.

Was the clean up also around the tear or was it the tear?
BC: There was no repair needed. There is a difference between repairing a tear and cleaning up the area around the tear or take out the portion of the tear.

Will he be back for the Baltimore game?
BC: The Baltimore game? Yes. There's a very good chance of that.

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