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Ben Roethlisberger has foot on pedal to fast recovery for Steelers

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger's recovery from an MCL sprain suggests the Pittsburgh Steelers' wait on the franchise quarterback could be fairly short.

I'm hearing Roethlisberger has had no major setbacks in the first 11 days and has graduated to stationary bike work. He ditched the crutches in the first week of rehab, which is a good sign. Roethlisberger roamed the sidelines freely last week against Baltimore, four days after injury.

Not all MCL cases are identical. Roethlisberger must monitor the pain and stiffness in the injury over the next few weeks, testing lateral movements and ability to plant on the knee. As ESPN's Stephania Bell says, Roethlisberger must protect the injured area to "allow the ligament to scar down." Plus, the bone bruise can persist for at least 3-4 weeks.

But Roethlisberger said on his weekly radio show on 93.7 The Fan that team doctors are pleased with the progress.

"We're just going to keep taking it week-by-week and try and get back as soon as I can," Roethlisberger told the show.

The Nov. 1 home matchup with Cincinnati seems like a prime return, though Roethlisberger has eschewed all target dates.

Goodness, that would be a fun game -- Roethlisberger's return against a team considered by many as AFC North favorites.

Roethlisberger threw for 912 yards in less than 11 quarters before the injury.