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Roethlisberger out after knee surgery

| Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger will miss one game and possibly two after arthroscopic knee surgery Thursday.

A piece of torn cartilage was removed from his right knee.

Coach Bill Cowher said Roethlisberger will definitely miss Sunday's game against Green Bay. But it's possible he'll return as early as the Steelers' game Nov. 13 against Cleveland, even though the operation normally sidelines a player 10 to 14 days.

Roethlisberger, who missed a loss Oct. 16 to Jacksonville with a hyperextended left knee, initially hurt his right knee Sept. 11 against Tennessee.

The right knee bothered him again after his shoe stuck in the turf as he was being hit by Baltimore linebacker Jarret Johnson during the first quarter of the Steelers' 20-19 victory Monday night.

Roethlisberger stayed in the game and directed a fourth-quarter drive that resulted in the game-winning field goal, but only after telling Cowher the right knee was bothering him and he might have to take himself out of the game.

Roethlisberger had an MRI exam Tuesday, and the Steelers decided to go ahead with the operation after consulting with specialist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala.

"Ben wants to play through everything," Cowher said Thursday. "He's been very cooperative and he understands it, and he's handled this well. He felt good yesterday and wanted to practice today."

Cowher said there was a risk involved in continuing to play Roethlisberger without repairing the knee, and that if the injury continued to worsen the quarterback might be out as long as a month.

Charlie Batch, who has thrown only eight passes since the 2001 season with Detroit, will replace Roethlisberger on Sunday in Green Bay.

Batch, a former Lions starter, came to the Steelers in 2002, and moved up on the depth chart after Tommy Maddox had four turnovers in the 23-17 overtime loss to Jacksonville. Maddox committed a fumble and threw an interception that was returned for the game-winning touchdown in overtime.

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