The 2015 NFL season did not go anywhere close to according to plan for Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey. After suffering a broken left fibula in a preseason game last August, Pouncey’s fall saw him undergo six surgical procedures and later have to battle a staph infection, which led to another procedure. But he is back now and working to get in shape for a return to the gridiron this fall for the Steelers.
Pouncey went through six surgeries after the initial injury suffered during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. Then, in October, it was discovered the surgical wound did not heal properly and he had a staph infection because of it. Once that infection was taken care of, Pouncey later could undergo one final surgical procedure before getting on the path to a rehab. For Pouncey, surgery was one thing but a staph infection was a whole other game he wanted no part of.
“It was scary,” Pouncey said. “I don’t want that on my worst enemy.”
Pouncey believed he was just about ready to return to the Steelers last October, before he felt some discomfort that turned out to be the infection. The Steelers were hoping he would return as well, which is why the team never felt the need to place the lineman on injured reserve for the year. But once the infection was diagnosed, the season was essentially put on ice for Pouncey. Pouncey also had to fight off an E. coli infection during his miserable 2015 season.
“We had to figure out the best plan possible to get it right,” Pouncey said. “No one really had that many infections like that [around here]. … I blame no one. We’re all professionals. I respect this organization for everything they did to get me through this.”
Pouncey has been able to take part in the Steelers’ offseason workouts so far and shows no sign of slowing down.