James Harrison Could Face Knee Surgery Before Season Opener

ORCHARD PARK NY - NOVEMBER 28: James Harrison #92 of the Pittsburgh Steelers rises after hitting Ryan Fitzpatrick of the Buffalo Bills during their game at Ralph Wilson Stadium on November 28 2010 in Orchard Park New York. Harrison was flagged for roughing the passer during the play. (Photo by Karl Walter/Getty Images)

It is being reported by the Beaver County Times that Steelers linebacker James Harrison may have to undergo arthroscopic knee surgery before the start of the season. Harrison has been on the PUP list all of training camp due to swelling in his left knee, and according to his agent, Bill Parise, surgery may be required in order to alleviate the matter:

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

Although, the surgery does appear to be of the minor variety, one has to wonder just how long such a procedure could keep the 34 year old linebacker out of action and how effective he'll be once he returns. Since Harrison's game is predicated on speed and leverage, even minor knee surgery could hinder his ability to get after the quarterback.

Last season, with Harrison and fellow outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley both missing extended action due to injury, the defense's sack totals and takeaways were down significantly from the previous season. And even though the unit finished number one in the rankings, it didn't seem like the same old dominant Steel Curtain.

Minor or not, injuries were a big factor for the 2011 Pittsburgh Steelers, and they've already lost tight end/fullback David Johnson for the entire year with an ACL tear. With this latest news about Harrison, it looks like injuries are already a huge theme in 2012.

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