Steelers hold out safety Polamalu from Wednesday practice

The Pittsburgh Steelers appear to be playing it safe with Troy Polamalu and his injured ankle, holding the six-time Pro Bowl safety out of practice Wednesday as the team prepares for a Divisional Playoff clash with the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens.

Polamalu missed games in Weeks 15 and 16 while he nursed ankle and Achilles injuries. He returned for the Steelers' regular-season finale against the Cleveland Browns, when he posted his team-leading seventh interception of the season.

Polamalu is expected to return later this week and start in Saturday's game.

Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden (abdomen) and defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps) were limited in practice Wednesday. NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora cited a source with knowledge of the situation in reporting that Smith likely wouldn't make it back to game action until the Super Bowl, if the Steelers make it.

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