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Rashard Mendenhall working to build patience, knee strength

Rashard Mendenhall

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall during practice at the NFL football training camp in Latrobe, Pa. on Sunday, July 29, 2012 . (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

AP

Rashard Mendenhall’s most strenuous work might not be rehabbing his knee.

It might be learning patience.

The Steelers aren’t expecting Mendenhall to play Week 1, but they obviously think it won’t be long thereafter, since they activated him from the physically unable to perform list.

“To be real, I don’t know when I’ll be ready to play,” Mendenhall, said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “I’m just working with the training staff and doing what I can to get on the field.”

Mendenhall, who injured his right knee in last year’s finale at Cleveland, has been using the time since being activated to adapt to a new offense.

“I don’t question anything I’m doing in practice,” he said. “I can do most everything I did before, but I have to keep it within a certain realm that I’m comfortable with.

“I was comfortable during the 7-on-7 drills. I jumped in some plays here and there, and hopefully we’ll increase that as we go along.”

Activating him was a bit of a risk, since he might not be ready until after the Week 4 bye, but easing him into practice will at least give him a chance to work with Haley, in hopes he can hit the ground running.