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Colbert: Center Pouncey 'progressing just fine' after surgery

INDIANAPOLIS — Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert is optimistic the high-ankle sprains that have plagued All-Pro center Maurkice Pouncey are in the past.

Pouncey has missed four games, including the three of the last four in 2011, since hurting his left ankle in the 2010 AFC Championship game.

"The reports we got and the last time we saw him, he was progressing just fine," Colbert said. "High-ankle sprains, they're a different injury and then when you re-injure it sometimes you've got to do some procedures to shore that joint up."

Pouncey's surgery last month did not stop him from making an appearance this week at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Pouncey and his twin brother, Mike, were here for a couple of days in support of former University of Florida running back Chris Rainey (they left yesterday).

The three are former high school and college teammates, and Rainey lived with the Pounceys when he was 16 years old.

Rainey is one of the fastest players in the draft; he said he once ran a 4.23 in the 40-yard dash.

"And that was on grass," said Rainey, who is scheduled to run the 40-yard dash today. "I know I'm going to run faster than that."

> > Count the Ravens among the teams unlikely to pursue Mike Wallace if the Steelers don't protect the Pro Bowl wide receiver with the franchise tag. Wallace is a restricted free agent, and if the Steelers place the highest tender on him, teams would be allowed to make offers to Wallace. If he signed elsewhere and the Steelers declined to match the offer, they would get that team's first-round pick in return.

Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said he would be hesitant to give up a first-round pick for a restricted free agent, especially given the prohibitive cost of signing that player. But when asked if he has ruled out signing a restricted free agent to bolster the Ravens' receiving corps, Newsome smiled.

"When I wake up tomorrow, I just never know what I might do," he said.

> > Former Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead said Friday that the Steelers have expressed interest in him. Pead had more than 1,000 rushing yards in each of his last two seasons as a Bearcat, and the 5-foot-10, 197-pounder won MVP honors at the Senior Bowl last month. The Steelers have some uncertainty at running back with starter Rashard Mendenhall a candidate to open the 2012 season on the physically unable to perform list because of a torn ACL he sustained Jan. 1.

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