Kemoeatu back on guard


By Teresa Varley

Latrobe, Pa. - Guard Chris Kemoeatu returned to practice on Monday after spending the first week of training camp on the physically unable to perform list.

Kemoeatu was injured prior to the start of training camp when he was running steps as a part of a workout with his brother back home in Hawaii. Kemoeatu tripped on a step and landed on his elbow, causing the injury.

"I tried to catch myself and landed on the elbow," said Kemoeatu. "It's not sore right now, until I put a lot of pressure on it."

Kemoeatu wore a brace on his left arm to protect it in practice on Monday and will be sporting it for the next few weeks.

"The brace helps me from my elbow locking up," he said. "It feels all right. It's probably just temporary, until it feels better. It's not so much the arm. I just haven't been setting and hitting anyone or putting a lot of pressure on it. As far as the pain, it feels okay."

He held up well in his first practice, one that was cut a little bit short thanks to a Jeff Reed field goal.

"It was good," said Kemoeatu. "I'm glad practice was short because I still have to get in some cardio and get in shape. Other than that, I felt good. I felt out of whack from not being out there, but give it a couple days."

With an array of players on the sideline on Monday with various bumps and bruises head coach Mike Tomlin was happy to get him back on the field.

"You know, this guy is a guy that likes to work," said Tomlin. "He is very prepared. He had a nice offseason. He came in here in great condition. We went out and worked and it's great to have him back."

Kemoeatu, who is in a battle to replace Alan Faneca at left guard, now has some catching up to do.

"How many days have we been here?  That is how far he is behind," said Tomlin. "But he is a professional and I'm sure he will catch up relatively quickly."

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