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Mystery surrounding Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey's return continues

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The Pittsburgh Steelers lost Maurkice Pouncey in the third preseason game with a broken ankle, but despite being placed on short-term IR, he has yet to even return to practice.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

In the Pittsburgh Steelers' third preseason game against the Green Bay Packers they were dealt an extremely difficult injury when Maurkice Pouncey's leg was rolled on by Packers' safety Ha Ha Clinton Dix, breaking his ankle. Pouncey was expected to have surgery on his ankle, but his season would be far from over. With that news, the Steelers placed Pouncey on the short-term injured reserve, designated to return, list.

It had always been discussed that Pouncey could possibly return for the game the Steelers are currently preparing for, the Week 12 game against the Seattle Seahawks coming off  their bye week; however, after an infection to his injured ankle a second surgery was required to clear up the infection.

Since the news of the second procedure, the return of Pouncey has been a topic which has been on fans' minds, but hasn't be discussed publicly. Repeated attempts to ask head coach Mike Tomlin about Pouncey's progress were answered with "no update" from the Steelers' head coach.

The Steelers have worked their way to a 6-4 record, all with Cody Wallace trying to fill Pouncey's gigantic shoes, but those shoes are far from filled. Pouncey, a perennial Pro Bowl player and All Pro, is a once in a generation center. His athleticism from the position is unparalleled, which makes the mystery behind his return even more frustrating.

In a photo posted on Marcus Gilbert's verified Instagram account on November 17th, before the Steelers offensive line dinner, you see Pouncey there and still in a walking boot.

Oline dinner night! #byeweek #steelernation #landry #Dacastro #byron #matt #bj

A photo posted by Marcus G. (@marcus77gilbert) on

Pittsburgh could benefit from Pouncey's returning to the lineup, as it would help bolster an offensive line which is already without staring left tackle Kelvin Beachum. If Pouncey could return this season, and be able to perform at the standard which fans are accustomed to seeing, it would help pave the way for the Steelers' high powered offense getting another large piece of their puzzle back into the fold.

The thought of Ben Roethlisberger, Heath Miller, Martavis Bryant, Antonio Brown, Markus Wheaton, DeAngelo Williams and Maurkice Pouncey all healthy and in the lineup would certainly be a solid consolation prize to dealing with the myriad of injuries and suspensions the team has dealt with throughout the 2015 regular season. Get that offense on the field together and gelling, and there aren't many teams who would volunteer to play the Steelers in December, when the games matter most.