But whenever he arrives, he knows his surgically repaired knee will be ready to roll. In fact, he thinks it's ready to roll right now.
"I feel like I am ready," Bell said, via TribLive.com. "I feel like I can go out there and get tackled or whatever it may be. As long as my knee doesn't swell and I don't have any setbacks, I plan to do more. My right leg feels crazy strong."
He added: "I feel that I got all my speed back, and I am confident cutting. (Friday) was crazy because it was really the first day I wasn't even thinking about running. When I was running the football, I wasn't thinking anything about my knee. That's the point I want to get to."
While it's easy to file this under the Athlete feels better after major surgery platitude list, Bell's honesty about his progress could be telling. When a player of his caliber hits the point where he's no longer thinking about the injury, it represents a major hurdle cleared en route to the playing field. Bell has been fearless after knee surgery before, and looks to be headed that way again.
Bell said the Steelers are holding him back from going too crazy, but are still preparing him for the season opener just in case his suspension for a violation of the league's policy on substances of abuse gets overturned.
As we've said before, the Steelers are fortunate that their depth chart has some solid options behind their star feature back. Having him on the field is a different game altogether, though. Having him on the field and healthy? That is a unit fixing to lead the NFL in total offense.