Reports continue to say that Heath Miller is walking without a limp and a few weeks back Ben Roethlisberger said that Miller was lifting weights. There is still no timetable set on Miller’s return from a major knee injury siffered last season, but the fact that he is walking without a limp is a good sign. The hope is that he could be back by week 1 of the 2013 season, but until the Steelers set a timetable on his recovery it’s hard to know where he is at with his rehab.
According to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review Miller still isn’t ready to set a timetable on his return: “Yeah, I think it’s a little too early to say anything like that,” Miller said. “It’s a long time before training camp, so that’s a long time to make gains positively or maybe even for something to happen negatively. So, I’m just taking one day at a time, and I hope to get better every day.”
When asked if he could play the entire season Miller was less optimistic: “I’m sure there’s a chance, yeah, but that’s too far off to think about it right now,” Miller said. “I’m just trying to get better every day, and I’m doing what I’ve been asked to do. And I’m listening to my body, so I’ll just progress that way.”
Miller’s workout regimen is, at the very least, exciting in terms of his ability to return. “I’ve been doing a lot of lifting, trying to get all the strength back in my leg and getting the confidence back while I’m on the grass,” Miller said when asked about his workouts. “That’s the big thing now, the main thing, because after surgery you lose a lot of strength. And then there’s some atrophy. So, I want to get it back to where it’s as strong as my other leg.
Coming off of knee surgery Miller may have to play the 2013 season with a brace on his knee, but he has not decided if he will do so or not. The injury could limit him slightly in what he is able to do and he may not be able to play at full-speed from the get go. Even so, Miller at 75% may be better than the other options the Steelers have at tight end; especially given the fact that Miller was the Steelers team MVP in 2012.
As far as Ben Roethlisberger is concerned he has “no doubt” that Miller will be ready to play by the first wee of the season. “The biggest thing is going to be trying to hold Heath back because I think he’s gonna want to get out there too soon,” Roethlisberger said via NBC Sports. “I’m gonna fight to say ‘Heath, don’t play in any preseason games. Just get out there for the regular season.’”