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Polamalu tests injured ankle, still listed as probable

DETROIT -- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Troy Polamalu looked good, running around freely on his injured ankle at Friday's practice at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Polamalu was pulled out of practice with about 30 minutes remaining, so that his ankle could be iced up, strictly as a precaution.

Polamalu is still listed as probable for Super Bowl XL. By definition, a "probable" listing on the report means that a player is 75 percent likely to participate in that week's game.

The Steelers also sat wide receiver Hines Ward for the last half of practice with
a sore shoulder, but only for precautionary reasons, according to
Steelers spokesman Dave Lockett. Ward was not added to the team's
daily injury report, the last before Sunday's game.

Meanwhile, Pittsburgh upgraded both FB Dan Kreider (knee) and Travis Kirschke (groin) to probable on Friday. Both practiced…

The Steelers have the rest of the day off, with a midnight curfew.

Polamalu, the catalyst of the Steelers' defense and a player who has emerged as one of the league's most versatile defenders, injured his ankle during Thursday's practice and was forced to leave the session early.

How the injury occurred is not yet known. Super Bowl practices are closed to the media, with the exception of one "pool" reporter. Polamalu told the pool reporter assigned to the Pittsburgh practice that he "tweaked" the ankle. The incident was not noted on an original practice report filed early in the evening, but it is believed the NFL was revising it.

Polamalu did appear on the official injury report as having missed at least a portion of the so-called "team," or 11-on-11, drills. Sources said that Polamalu began treatments for the ankle injury immediately after the practice. It is not known if he will participate in the Friday practice.

Losing their star strong safety, or perhaps even having him forced to play at less than 100 percent, would be a significant setback for the Steelers. Defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau designs many of his most exotic defensive gambits, both blitzes and coverages, around Polamalu and his unique skill set.

Polamalu had 100 tackles during the season, third most on the team, two interceptions, 11 passes defensed, one forced fumble and three recoveries. If possible, he has raised the level of his performance in the postseason, and has 19 tackles, one interception, three passes defensed and one-half sack.

Starting fullback Dan Kreider (knee) and reserve defensive lineman Travis Kirschke (groin), missed practice again on Thursday, and both remain "questionable" on the NFL injury report. Of the two, it is believed that Kreider, the lone fullback on the Pittsburgh roster, has the better chance of playing.

Information from ESPN.com's Len Pasquarelli, ESPN's Sal Paolantonio and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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