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Bettis out; knee hurt

Saturday, July 31, 1999

By Ed Bouchette, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

Steelers running back Jerome Bettis will be out of practice indefinitely with an injury to his left knee that occurred10 days ago while he was working out.

Coach Bill Cowher declined to comment on the injury, which was revealed last night by the team in a news release without giving the nature of the injury.

The Steelers placed Bettis on the active non-football injury list, a technical transaction that protects the team in case the knee injury ultimately prevents him from playing. However, the press release said his "return to active duty is uncertain but his absence is not expected to be too lengthy."

It is possible Bettis could begin practice by early next week.

He and several other players did not participate in the team's running tests yesterday and when Cowher was asked why, he said he would not explain until today. But on Monday Cowher said they would keep a close eye on Bettis early in training camp because of an appendectomy he had in May, and many assumed that is why he did not run yesterday.

Bettis told reporters early this week he was in great shape after strenuous off-season workouts. He ran for 1,185 yards last season, his third over 1,000 yards in three seasons with the Steelers but 480 fewer than he had in 1997. He missed one game with an injury to his right knee.

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