Thursday, November 03, 2005
By Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger had arthroscopic surgery this morning to "clean up" damaged cartilage in his right knee and will miss Sunday's game in Green Bay and possibly the Nov. 13 home game against the Cleveland Browns.
However, Roethlisberger should be ready to return when the Steelers play in Baltimore Nov. 20, if not sooner. Charlie Batch, who had been elevated to the No. 2 position, will be the starting quarterback Sunday.
In addition, running back Jerome Bettis will miss Sunday's game, also because of a knee injury.
Team orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Bradley performed a 15-minute procedure on a slight tear of the lateral meniscus in Roethlisberger's knee. Coach Bill Cowher said at a morning news conference on the South Side that the procedure "went very well."
Cowher said Roethlisberger did not want to have surgery but the team's medical personnel convinced the NFL's leading passer to do so after results of his magnetic resonance imaging exam were sent to noted orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews for a second opinion. The injury was an aggravation to a knee injury Roethlisberger received in the season opener against Tennessee.
"He wants to play through everything," Cowher said. "We sat him down last night and talked to him about all the options. No question this was the right thing to do and do it now."
Roethlisberger was injured on the first series of Monday night's 20-19 victory against the Baltimore Ravens but remained in the game. He was diagnosed with a posterior capsule strain, which includes damage to ligaments.
Cowher also said Bettis, who injured his knee against the Ravens, won't play in Green Bay. He will be replaced by Duce Staley, who has appeared in just one game this season but hasn't had a carry since the AFC Championship game in January.