Linebacker Sean Spence had hoped to receive good news today, that his knee would have responded well enough to a few weeks of practice to make him ready to return to the playing field.
But his comeback has been put on hold after Spence was placed on the reserve/injured list on Wednesday, ending his season.
"There was frustration at first because I worked so hard to get to this point, all offseason, during spring ball and in camp and now I am back in the same predicament," said Spence. "There is some disappointment, some letdown, but there is a reason to rejoice."
Spence, the Steelers third-round draft pick in 2012, suffered a severe season-ending knee injury against the Carolina Panthers in the 2012 preseason; an injury many thought could have ended his career. He spent the past year rehabbing the knee, spending endless hours in the training and weight rooms.
He opened the 2013 season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list, but was cleared to return to practice on Oct. 16. The team had three weeks to see how the knee responded before having to make a decision to activate him or place him on IR and it was determined he still needed time to get back to full strength.
While he is disappointed he can't be on the field helping his teammates this year, he also knows he is blessed because he is so much further along than many expected.
"I beat a lot of odds," said Spence. "People thought I would never be able to walk again without a brace, never be able to run again without a brace. I did all of that. I think unfortunately I just didn't have enough time. I have a sense of comfort knowing that I will be able to play again."