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Polamalu's playing status hinging on MRI

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Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2009

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu could return to the lineup against the Baltimore Ravens if the results from Tuesday's MRI on his knee are positive, coach Mike Tomlin said.

Tomlin, who has been optimistic about Polamalu's possible return at various times this season, is taking a wait-and-see approach.

Polamalu has missed the past five games and has appeared in only five contests this season.

"The result of his MRI is going to dictate what direction we take, like it has in recent weeks," Tomlin said.

» Some starters who suffered injuries against Green Bay could miss practice time early in the week. Tomlin said wide receivers Hines Ward (hamstring) and Mike Wallace (knee), running back Rashard Mendenhall (hip) and defensive end Brett Keisel (stinger) could all be limited early. Ward and other veterans are normally held out of the week's first practice as Tomlin attempts to give them additional time to recover from the previous game.

» Tomlin explained his strategy for attempting a surprise onside kick against Green Bay despite leading 30-28 late in the fourth quarter.

"That thought process of mine was geared toward them maybe kicking a field goal and being up one and us having to kick a field goal to win," Tomlin said. "Not necessarily with those guys scoring a touchdown."

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