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Ward says dancing is good therapy

His role on "Dancing With the Stars" and the NFL's labor impasse doesn't mean Hines Ward has forgotten about football.

On the contrary, the Steelers receiver said the reality TV show — and the rigorous training for it — has been good therapy for his left knee. Ward had surgery in February to repair cartilage damage, not long after the Steelers' 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl.

"I'm getting in shape, staying in shape," said Ward, who turned 35 last month and makes his Week 4 appearance on "Dancing With the Stars" tonight. "This is great rehab. I'm not sliding on the floor or anything or jumping up and down. I'm not going to do any crazy stuff like that. This is actually helping my footwork."

The only thing Ward's "DWTS" participation is holding him from is surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb. He plans to have the procedure done after he is finished with the show. But Ward said even if there weren't a lockout, he would not start football-related activities until the end of May or beginning of June.

Ward is usually a limited participant in offseason practices because of his experience. The 13-year veteran generally acts as a de facto assistant coach, helping the younger players at his position.

Even if players and owners reach a new collective bargaining agreement, Ward said, "I probably won't do anything until training camp."

If the work stoppage drags into summer, Ward said, he will invite quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers' other receivers to his house in Atlanta so they can get work out together.

"Ben and I will make sure that the wide receivers and him get together, spend a week together and throw at a high school somewhere," Ward said. "We want to be ready so when something does happen, we at least threw the ball around, ran some routes."

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