Ben Roethlisberger is on a fast track to recovery following knee surgery.
The Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback no longer is using crutches and was seen watching the first day of minicamp practice with only a wrap on his right knee.
"It feels great," Roethlisberger said Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I saw Doc Bradley this morning. He was pleasantly surprised with the range of motion and where we're at with the swelling. It feels great. I've been off crutches for a couple days now and moving around pretty good. I think I could play Sunday if I had to.
"According to Doc, the surgery went really well, my knee is in great shape. They took care of the little problem. It had been bothering me a little bit last year and we just decided now is the time to take care of it."
Roethlisberger believes the injury came about from general "wear and tear." He had the same procedure done on his left knee during the 2005 season. Roethlisberger explained how he tried to avoid surgery before eventually giving in to proper judgment.
"People say why not (have surgery) earlier? We wanted to try to see if we could manage it," he said. "I'd come in on Tuesday and practice, it would feel good and by Thursday it was like a tire slowly losing air. It kind of hurt me on Thursday. We figured it was time to get it done and the doctors agreed."
Although he's played a full 16-game season just once in 10 years, Roethlisberger has proven himself to be a tough and durable quarterback. The Steelers hope that continues for Roethlisberger, who turned 31 in March.
Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.