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Mendenhall may not be ready for 2012 season

The Steelers are proceeding with the assumption that running back Rashard Mendenhall won't be ready for the start of the 2012 regular season.

Mendenhall, who has led the Steelers in rushing the last three seasons, tore the ACL in his right knee Jan. 1 in Cleveland.

"I never feel good about an ACL (tear) until a year," Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said. "I'm not a doctor but that's just my mindset. If he gets back before that, it's a bonus."
When asked if Mendenhall's injury • it happened early in the Steelers' regular-season finale • could cost the former first-round draft pick the 2012 season, Colbert said, "It possibly could."

Mendenhall is at least likely to start 2012 on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Mendenhall's status has not made running back any more of a priority, Colbert said, as the Steelers start planning for free agency and the draft. A reason for that, Colbert said, is the emergence of Isaac Redman as well as some other young running backs on the Steelers' roster.

"Could we add a back• Sure." Colbert said. "Are we saying we have to add a back• No."

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