Toughness has never been an issue with Hines Ward, which the Steelers wide receiver proved again Sunday.
Ward broke his nose in the Steelers' 27-13 win over the Philadelphia but never mentioned the injury after the game.
He had minor surgery to correct the problem after the Steelers practiced Tuesday, team spokesman Dave Lockett said.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has not ruled out Ward playing in the Steelers' final preseason game Thursday night at Carolina.
Ward did not appear to be in any pain or discomfort as he talked to reporters following Sunday night's game. He was, in fact, one of the last players to leave the locker room.
Ward watched practice with his left thigh wrapped in ice and didn't have any marks or discoloration near his nose. It was assumed he had a problem with his quadriceps, and a minor one at that, since Ward appeared to be in good spirits and stayed close to Tomlin's side.
That is why no one pressed Tomlin at his news conference after he dismissed Ward missing practice as "Hines is Hines."
On Ward playing in the 8 p.m. game Thursday, Tomlin said, "I wouldn't count Hines out."
Tomlin said the starters will play "roughly a quarter" against the Panthers. He added that there will be some exceptions, which presumably means starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger won't play more than a couple of series.
Along with Ward, there is a question of whether tight ends Heath Miller and Jerame Tuman will play Thursday.
Miller has some shoulder discomfort, Tomlin said, while Tuman is still battling a back problem.
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