Roethlisberger can't rule out foot surgery despite progress

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger says the broken right foot that hampered him throughout much of last season has almost fully healed, but there's a chance he'll require surgery if the pain returns, the *Pittsburgh Tribune-Review* reported Saturday.

"It's doing really good. It's healed up," Roethlisberger said. "Obviously, it helps when I'm not cutting and planting and doing all of these different activities. It's really come a long way. I haven't had too many problems with it recently."

Roethlisberger suffered through much of 2010 with the foot injury, which he aggravated during a game against the Buffalo Bills in November, saying "there were times during practice and games where I didn't feel like I'd be able to walk."

The seven-year veteran and two-time Super Bowl winner wore a cleat fitted with a pair of metal plates both in games and practices, right up through the team's loss to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV. He didn't miss a snap last season because of the injury, throwing for 3,200 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"I could have had surgery (after last season), but according to the doctors, it would have been a really nasty process because of where the break was. It was better off trying not to do anything," Roethlisberger said. "It's going to be something where we're just going to have to, in essence, play it by ear. If it continues to be as painful as it was at the end of last year, then I'm going to probably have to have the surgery."

Roethlisberger has been able to focus on football this offseason, free from off-the-field issues that plagued him a year ago. He recently told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he gathered offensive players for workouts earlier this offseason but kept the proceedings undercover.

"We've worked out, linemen, running backs, tight ends, everybody. All of the offense," Roethlisberger said. "... We've had some good progress, just to kind of refresh people's memories on audible calls or no-huddle calls, little things like that."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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