Steelers LB Porter to have knee surgery

Updated: May 23, 2006, 6:17 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Three-time Pro Bowl performer Joey Porter, the loquacious Pittsburgh Steelers' star who led all NFL linebackers in sacks during the team's 2005 Super Bowl season, will undergo arthroscopic knee surgery on Wednesday, and will likely miss the balance of the offseason conditioning program.

 Joey Porter
Porter

It is believed that the surgery will address a cartilage problem and that Porter should be fully rehabilitated in time for the start of training camp on July 28.

Porter was not in attendance last week for the beginning of the "organized team activities" (OTA) segment of the offseason program. He did work out at the team complex Tuesday but did not participate in practice, the fourth on-field session that Porter has missed.

He did attend the Steelers' mandatory minicamp May 13-15.

It is still not known if Porter's absence from the OTA workouts are a result of the pending surgery or an indication that the seven-year veteran wants to have his contract situation addressed. Porter has two more seasons on his current contract and is due a base salary of $3.85 million in 2006 and of $4 million in 2007. There is an additional $1 million roster bonus due in the spring of 2007.

Historically, the Steelers have not extended players' contract until they have just one season remaining.

The always verbose Porter, 29, recently made headlines when he suggested that he planned to speak with President George Bush about the state of the country when the Steelers visit the White House on June 2. Porter subsequently claimed his remarks were misstated.

A third-round choice in the 1999 draft, Porter registered 10½ sacks in 2005, tying his career best for a season. His 53 sacks are sixth all-time in franchise history. The former Colorado State standout, a starter since his second season in the league, has 436 career tackles, eight interceptions, 29 passes defensed, 17 forced fumbles and eight recoveries. He has appeared in 108 games and started 92 of them.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.

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