LATROBE -- The Steelers remain confident that James Harrison will be ready for the season opener. But there is a chance he may need arthroscopic surgery on his injured knee before then.

Harrison,one of the NFL’s most dominating linebackers over the past five years,has to yet to take part in a training camp practice. He’s still on the physically unable to perform list because of an irritation behind his knee cap that causes swelling.

“With the exception of this little knee thing,James is probably healthier now that he’s been in three years,” said Bill Parise,Harrison’s agent. “He’s extremely fit. He just has to get this irritation behind his knee cap cleared up. That’s what’s causing the swelling,and (the Steelers) just want to get rid of that.

“So we might even look at doing a scope of that to get it cleaned up. We’ll just have to wait see how it plays out.”

Coach Mike Tomlin has never given any timetable about Harrison’s return to practice. Typically when asked about players on the PUP list,Tomlin says the players are being assessed week to week.

Parise thinks that Harrison may be taken off the PUP list in a week or two to see how his knee responds to practice. If the swelling continues,then arthroscopic surgery could be performed in order to allow Harrison to heal in time for the Sept. 9 opener in Denver.

“If it doesn’t respond the way everybody wants it,that sounds like the alternative,” Parise said. “We’d probably opt for that sooner than later.”

From Chuck Finder, CBS Sports

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