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Steelers

Ward plans to be in lineup

| Thursday, Nov. 23, 2006

Hines Ward won't practice until Friday -- at the earliest -- but the Steelers wide receiver is optimistic he'll be able to play in Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

"I'm going to do whatever it takes," the four-time Pro Bowler said Wednesday at the Steelers' South Side practice facility. "I'm walking so that's better."

Ward took a shot to his knee late in the Steelers' 24-20 win over the Browns and hyperextended it.

He watched practice yesterday and said he will do the same today as a precaution.

Ward is listed as questionable for Sunday's 1 p.m. game.

"If I was a betting man," Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said, "I'd put my money on him being out there."

Ward said his knee has improved from icing it and the treatment he has received from the Steelers' medical personnel. Ward said an MRI taken on his knee showed no tears or any other structural damage.

He said he will continue to let the treatment take its course and seemed encouraged he would be ready for Sunday's game based on the improvement his knee made from Monday to Wednesday.

The Steelers are 4-6 and need a win over the 8-2 Ravens to keep their playoff hopes alive. If that isn't enough incentive for Ward to get well, the teams aren't exactly friendly with one another.

"It's going to be one of those black-and-blue games," Ward said. "Like coach (Bill Cowher) said, we're going to have to play our best game to go down and beat Baltimore."

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