Steelers safety Polamalu back at practice after day of rest

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu returned to practice Thursday as his team prepares to host the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC Divisional Playoff Game.

Polamalu, dealing with an ankle injury, was a full participant in practice for the first time this week and is expected to play Saturday. Polamalu missed games in Weeks 15 and 16 while dealing with ankle and Achilles injuries, but he returned in Week 17 to face the Cleveland Browns.

Steelers cornerback Bryant McFadden (abdomen) also fully participated in practice Thursday after having been limited Wednesday. Defensive end Aaron Smith (triceps) was limited again and, according to NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora, isn't expected to play until the Super Bowl, if the Steelers make it.

For the Ravens, center Matt Birk missed a second consecutive day of practice while dealing with a knee injury. Cornerback Chris Carr (thigh) also missed practice after he was limited Wednesday.

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