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Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey may return during 2015 season

The Steelers are still holding out hope that their Pro Bowl center will be able to play during the 2015 regulars season.

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, the Pittsburgh Steelers haven't ruled out center Maurkice Pouncey for a return this season. Pouncey was initially placed on the Reserve/Injured; Designated for Return list after breaking his fibula during the August 23 preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. (It was also during this game that Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson suffered a season-ending injury.)

The injury was initially set to shelf the All Pro center for about 12 weeks, but an infection to the wound after surgery required a second surgery to remove the infection. This delayed the process to the point the team wondered if he would return during the 2015 season at all.

Backup center Cody Wallace has played reasonably well in Pouncey's stead, and Mike Munchak has made important adjustments to accommodate the personnel changes, which have also included a season-ending injury to tackle Kelvin Beachum. The offense has been incredibly productive even without these two star players.

The offensive line has provided adequate blocking for a strong run game while allowing only 27 sacks, 12th best in the league. The offensive line has also allowed only four quarterback hits, third best in the league.

Though head coach Mike Tomlin has not ruled out Pouncey, it remains to be seen if the Steelers will disrupt the synergy and productivity of the current personnel group, especially if Pouncey, the Steelers first-round pick in 2010, could benefit from more time off. The question regarding Pouncey's conditioning would certainly be another issue as an ankle injury can keep a player from training properly to get in NFL game shape.

The Steelers haven't closed the door on Pouncey, and this will be a situation to keep an eye on as the team pushes towards the AFC Playoffs.