'No setbacks' for Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger as he returns from elbow injury

Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Football

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger said he has had no setbacks from his elbow surgery and is excited about not having pain in his right arm after any of his throwing sessions, including a heavy workout on Monday.

He also said he is in great shape physically and mentally and is as light as he's been in more than a dozen years.

"My arm feels really good," Roethlisberger said Tuesday. "I threw a lot of balls (Monday) and waking up today to see how it feels, it feels great. And that's what I was anticipating."

It is the first time Roethlisberger has spoken publicly to a group of media since he had elbow surgery on his right arm in September with Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Roethlisberger had a heavy throwing session Monday at Heinz Field -- the first time he has attempted a pass there since Week 2 last season when he left the game against Seattle after the second quarter. And he will have another one Tuesday at training camp.

"I've had no setbacks," Roethlisberger said on a Zoom call. "It feels really good. I was really excited about that."


Roethlisberger said he is also excited about not having any issues at all in his throwing elbow. He said that has not been the case the past couple seasons, when he dealt with a nagging elbow problems that he said were never serious enough to sideline him.

But all that came to a painful and debilitating end 11 months ago when he felt a different sensation on his arm after a deep pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster in the second quarter against the Seahawks.

"I just felt a different pain that I never felt before," Roethlisberger said. "It was shooting down my arm. I knew something was different at that moment."

Roethlisberger said he gave a brief thought that the surgery might be the end of his career after 16 seasons, but "it wasn't a long one." He did not have Tommy John surgery because he did not damage the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. Rather, Roethlisberger had to have three of the five flexor tendons that tore away from the bone reattached. Those tendons are what allow quarterbacks to "spin" the ball.


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