Share This Page

Miller can't pinpoint return to Steelers' lineup

| Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, 10:54 p.m.
Chaz Palla | Tribune-Review
Steelers tight end Heath Miller watches practice at St. Vincent College.

Heath Miller acknowledges there have been occasional setbacks in his long recovery from a serious, multi-layered knee injury.

“I think in any rehab process, there are ups and downs,” said Miller, the Pro Bowl tight end who was the Steelers' leading receiver last season. “But I definitely think we've had more positives than negatives, and I feel good.”

With the regular season less than a month away, Miller continues to take his rehabilitation day by day, never looking too far ahead. And a man who still walks with a perceptible limp apparently still needs a lot more days before he can play again.

Neither the Steelers nor Miller have suggested any timetable, but running back Rashard Mendenhall didn't return from a torn ACL until a month into last season. Miller tore not only his anterior cruciate ligament but his medial collateral and posterior cruciate ligaments Dec. 23 against the Bengals.

He is certain he will play this season — “I'm hoping sooner rather than later,” he said — but he won't guess when it might be.

“I wish I knew the answer, but I don't,” he said.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert doesn't consider a player to be fully recovered from such an injury for a year. For Miller, that won't occur until the next-to-last game of the season.

“There's a time frame for ACLs, but obviously, I had multi-ligaments (injured) so that adds another wrinkle into it,” Miller said. “But each individual is different, and it's hard to project how your body is going to heal, how your body is going to react moving forward.”

Miller is on the physically unable to perform list but is all but certain to be removed before the start of the season. If he isn't, he can't return until after six games. The Steelers badly want him back before then.

Miller made 71 catches for 816 yards and eight touchdowns last season, when he was chosen for the Pro Bowl for a second time.

“I try to take each day and make it a positive and keep stacking positive days,” Miller said. “And I know it will be a good outcome whenever that time comes, that I'm ready to go.”

Alan Robinson is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at arobinson@tribweb.com or via Twitter @arobinson_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.