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Ben Roethlisberger sets timetable for return from elbow surgery

Ben Roethlisberger is still coming to terms with the premature end of his 2019 season after suffering an elbow injury that required surgery, but the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback is already thinking about his ultimate return.

Speaking recently to Ron Cook of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Roethlisberger, who previously confirmed he would indeed return for the 2020 season, laid out a timetable related to when he believes he’ll be able to practice.

“OTAs. Minicamp. Somewhere in there,” Roethlisberger said. “Just taking it nice and slow, doctors’ orders. It’s all about what they say.”

Roethlisberger has enjoyed the remarkable ability to overcome injuries and find ways to play throughout his career. Such resiliency — and perhaps stubbornness — has made missing out on so many games this season. The longtime Steelers signal caller last played in the first half of a Week 2 loss to the Seattle Seahawks — particularly frustrating.

“It’s really hard not being out there. I want to be a part of it,” Roethlisberger said. “Being hurt is still setting in for me. I’m still feeling like I’m going to come back [this season]. It hurts that I’m not.”

Roethlisberger, 37, toyed with idea of retirement during a few recent offseasons, but was all-in for 2019. It looks like the same can be said for 2020 as well, although the veteran quarterback obviously has some obstacles to overcome in rehab before returning to the field.

In the interim, Big Ben is enjoying how the Steelers have rebounded from a dreadful 1-4 start by rattling off four wins in a row heading into a showdown Thursday night with the division-rival Cleveland Browns.

“AFC North football is always fun,” Roethlisberger said. “Cleveland. A short week. I’m jealous of the guys going over there.”