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LT Starks returns to first unit

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By Alan Robinson
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2012, 7:36 p.m.

Max Starks didn't need much time to reclaim his starting job at left tackle.

Starks was immediately plugged back in with the starters during practice Tuesday, his first full-go session since suffering a torn ACL in his right knee during the Denver playoff loss in January.

Rookie Mike Adams started against the Eagles on Aug. 9 but, after he gave up two sacks, he was replaced Sunday against the Colts by Marcus Gilbert, who shifted from right tackle. Gilbert is back on the right side.

“There's a comfort level, I'm used to being around these guys,” Starks said. “Maurkice (Pouncey), Marcus, Willie (Colon), we've played together for a long time. The communication is a lot cleaner, and I think that helped out.”

• Running back Isaac Redman said an MRI revealed he had a hip injury, not a groin injury. But he is practicing again and, barring a setback, could start against Denver. “I'm trying to do what I can do without triggering it, without making it worse,” Redman said. “Hopefully, I can just keep getting better and better and not have a setback. We're just trying not to push it too hard.” Rashard Mendenhall (knee) was taken off the physically unable to perform list last week, but he is weeks away from returning.

• Linebacker Stevenson Sylvester underwent what coach Mike Tomlin called “a minor procedure” to repair the knee injury that kept him out of the Colts game. He is listed as day to day but probably won't be available until the season starts. Running back Jason Ford, who gained 42 yards against the Colts despite practicing just once last week after signing, sat out with a hamstring injury.

• Pitt and the Steelers share a practice facility, but the teams are almost never on their practice fields together. They were Tuesday as the end of the Steelers' practice blended into the start of Pitt's practice just one field away. Penguins coach Dan Bylsma spoke to the Pitt players and spent time off the field with general manager Kevin Colbert, who attends many Penguins games, and Tomlin.

• Tomlin said it was more like a regular-season practice than a training camp session, with coaches working off a game plan and a scouting report.

— Alan Robinson

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