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Steelers' Polamalu trim, fit as he arrives for OTAs

Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Steelers safety Troy Polamalu during OTA's Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the UPMC complex.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Steelers safety Troy Polamalu during OTA's Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the UPMC complex.
Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review - Steelers safety Troy Polamalu makes a catch during OTAs on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the UPMC complex.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Philip G. Pavely | Tribune-Review</em></div>Steelers safety Troy Polamalu makes a catch during OTAs on Tuesday, May 21, 2013, at the UPMC complex.

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

For the first time in his career, Troy Polamalu felt like he suffered an injury that could have been prevented.

Now, the Steelers' veteran safety is going to extreme measures to make sure something such as a torn calf muscle never happens to him again.

After a request made by coach Mike Tomlin, Polamalu showed up for the start of Steelers' organized team activities for the second consecutive year Tuesday. But unlike a year ago, Polamalu is looking trim and fit.

“You can never really tell with Troy because he wears his clothes all baggy,” cornerback Ike Taylor joked.

After missing nine games and part of another with a torn calf, Polamalu has taken his offseason training and diet to a level that transformed his body into shape rivaling his college days at Southern Cal a decade ago.

“I have done quite a bit of different things this offseason,” Polamalu said. “There are a lot of different rehabs and training I am doing. I feel good, thank God.”

Polamalu's main concern has been the balky calf that he's been dealing with for the past four years. Polamalu injured the calf in Week 1 last year, then re-injured it four weeks later against Philadelphia. The injury kept him shelved for the next seven weeks.

Polamalu played only 400 snaps in 2012, one year after starting all 17 games (including playoffs) in 2011.

“I think last year was an injury that could've been avoided,” Polamalu said. “There are times when people fall on my knee, and those type of freak accidents that can't be avoided. Last year was the first injury of my career that could've been avoided.”

Polamalu, who hasn't committed to returning to OTAs past this week, is still working out in Southern California with renowned trainer Marv Marinovich. He added a physical therapist and a dietitian to his group of medical advisers.

“Time is not stale,” Polamalu said. “You have to continue to evolve as time evolves and your career evolves and your body evolves.”

Polamalu has developed scar tissue around his injured calf, which has presented a unique challenge this offseason.

“If you don't attack the problem of scar tissue, then you are going to continue to have problems,” Polamalu said.

Polamalu showed no effects of his injury during the first day of OTAs, especially when he snagged a Ben Roethlisberger pass with one hand for an interception.

“Troy is Troy, and you know what you are going to get,” Taylor said. “Just him being back around, it is good to have him.”

Mark Kaboly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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