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Steelers James Harrison Could Face Knee Surgery

James Harrison’s agent, Bill Parise, said the Pro Bowl defensive lineman, who is on the physically unable to perform list, might have to undergo arthoscopic surgery to get healthy.

“With the exception of this little knee thing, James is probably healthier now that he’s been in three years,” Parise said to the TimesOnline.. “He’s extremely fit. He just has to get this irritation behind his knee cap cleared up. That’s what’s causing the swelling, and (the Steelers) just want to get rid of that. So we might even look at doing a scope of that to get it cleaned up. We’ll just have to wait see how it plays out.”

This is a big week for Harrison’s immediate future. By the weekend, he team and Harrison will see how his knee responds to practice. If the swelling persists, arthroscopic surgery could be an option.

“If it doesn’t respond the way everybody wants it, that sounds like the alternative,” Parise said. “We’d probably opt for that sooner than later.”

A scope would put Harrison’s recovery time at or close to the season-opening game against the Denver Broncos, his agent said. But Miami Dolphins quarterback David Garrard underwent arthroscopic surgery last week and the timetable for his return is in the 4-6 week range.

If Harrison isn’t ready by September 9, the Steelers could turn to second-year player Chris Carter, who capably manned the position in the team’s first preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles. A converted defensive end out of Fresno State, Carter has been impressive in training camp. He also seems unconcerned with the possibility that Harrison might be sidelined when the season starts.

“James is fine,” Carter said. “You know, he does his thing. James is the consummate professional. He knows what he needs to get his body just right. I have no concerns about James.”

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