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Steelers Troy Polamalu is healthy, thanks to his 'new physical therapist'

Polamalu is putting in the work at the Steelers' first round of OTAs this week in Pittsburgh. He credits a new physical therapist and avoiding getting stale as keys to getting back on the field this season.

Grant Halverson

Steelers safety Troy Polamalu may not be back to OTAs after this week, but that bit of variety seems to fit the 11-year pro as well as his No. 43 does.

He spoke with the media after the Steelers' first OTA session Tuesday, and mentioned how he's still doing offseason workouts with Marv Marinovich. Along with him, though, he added a new physical therapist, and aimed on working out the scar tissue in his often-injured calf, the one that caused him to miss more than half the 2012 season.

He said it was the first injury in his previous 10 years that could have been avoided.

"If you don't attack the problem of scar tissue, then you're just going to continue to have problems," he said. "So this year, I've really focused on that, found a great physical therapist, obviously continued to work with my trainer. So everything has evolved there and evolved nicely."

Whether Polamalu comes back for the team's second OTAs session, scheduled for May 28-30, is beside the point. Polamalu noted how "life gets stale," and working out in the same manner each year only intensifies that stale feeling in his body. He showed up as a leader - a title he still hasn't fully warmed up to - and he's working to mentor and teach rookie safety Shamarko Thomas.

As long as he keeps working on that balky calf, and he can be on the field for more than 400 snaps this season, it makes no difference whether he attends OTAs.