Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger can been added to the list of NFL stars — which also includes New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul — who have undergone, or will undergo, surgery this month.
According to Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin, Roethlisberger was absent during the team's penultimate OTA practice on Wednesday as he was having surgery on his right knee.
"Earlier today, Ben had minor surgery on his right knee that was the result of slight discomfort this offseason," Tomlin said in a statement released by the Steelers' PR department. "We advised him to get the surgery done to ensure he will be completely healthy for the start of training camp. This surgery will have no long-term effects on his health."
ESPN's Ed Werder reports that Roethlisberger's surgery was to repair meniscus, an injury that he could have played through, but doctors wanted to fix now, two months before the preseason opener against the Giants.
Injuries are nothing new for the 31-year-old Roethlisberger, who is entering his 10th season in the NFL and has played in all 16 regular season games just one time (2008). Roethlisberger missed three games in heart of the 2012 regular season due to a right shoulder injury and missed four games with injuries to both knees during the 2005 season.
The Steelers conclude their OTA practices on Thursday and will have a mandatory mini-camp from June 11-13. With Roethlisberger out until training camp, quarterbacks Bruce Gradkowski, John Parker Wilson and 2013 fourth-round pick Landry Jones will get additional work during next week's mini-camp.
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