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Rashard Mendenhall improving for Pittsburgh Steelers

Rashard Mendenhall looms as a true wild card for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The running back says he's right on schedule in rehab following surgery to repair the torn anterior cruciate ligament he suffered seven months ago, but a return to action remains in the distance. He acknowledges that a schedule doesn't really exist at this point.

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"No, none at all," Mendenhall said, via The Associated Press.

Mendenhall, nose tackle Casey Hampton and offensive tackle Max Starks each suffered torn ACLs in January. Hampton said Mendenhall's challenge is different because of the position he plays.

"He has to cut harder and have more confidence in his knee before he comes back," Hampton said.

"It's hard to say, as far as percentage or how much I'm pushing things, but everything that we've done so far ... has been successful," Mendenhall said. "So just taking steps as we go along."

Given his uncertain timetable, Mendenhall could be ticketed for the physically unable to perform list (PUP), which would sideline him for the season's first six weeks. In the meantime, Isaac Redman appears first in line to pick up the slack.

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