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June 12, 2006
Wear The Helmet, Big Ben

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger broke his jaw and injured his knees in a motorcycle accident late this morning. According to reports, he has undergone surgery to repair the injuries and has shown no signs of brain damage:

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger was badly hurt in a motorcycle crash Monday and undergoing surgery. The extent of his injuries was not known.

Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition, said Dr. Larry Jones, chief of trauma at Mercy Hospital.

"He was talking to me before he left for the operating room," Jones said before the operation. "He's coherent. He's making sense. He knows what happened. He knows where he is. From that standpoint, he's very stable."

The 24-year-old Roethlisberger likes to ride without a helmet, a habit that once prompted coach Bill Cowher to lecture him on the dangers. It was not known whether Roethlisberger was wearing a helmet when he crashed. ...

Pittsburgh media outlets reported that Roethlisberger was in surgery for a broken jaw. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, citing a police source, reported Roethlisberger also broke his left sinus cavity, suffered a 9-inch laceration to the back of his head, lost teeth and has knee injuries from hitting the pavement. A plastic surgeon has been called in, the source said.

We're keeping Big Ben in our prayers. We're hoping that the injuries prove a meddlesome irritant and not a career ender, as Ben had shown tremendous promise and poise during his first two seasons with the Steelers. Hopefully he can return quickly and start the season in uniform for the Steelers. Perhaps he will also listen to Ben Cowher and suit up appropriately for his motorcylce rides in the future as well.

UPDATE: Hugh Hewitt shows how sportsmen regard their opponents.

UPDATE II: Ben's out of surgery, and it looks like they fixed everything:

A medical team completed work on what was described as multiple facial fractures at 9 p.m. and Roethlisberger's condition was reported to be serious, but stable, and not expected to change overnight.

Representatives of the medical team said that Roethlisberger's brain, spine, chest and abdomen appeared to be without serious injury and, at this time, there were no other confirmed injuries from the accident. The procedure took about seven hours and all the facial fractures were reported to be have been successfully repaired.

Earlier, Dr. Larry Jones of Mercy Hospital addressed the media at 1:25 p.m. and said that Roethlisberger was in serious but stable condition and was headed to surgery. The doctor did not detail the injuries, but a source said they included a broken jaw, chipped tooth, broken nose and head lacerations.

Jones said that Roethlisberger was talking, was coherent and was cognizant of the situation.

Police confirmed Roethlisberger, 24, was not wearing a helmet as he operated his 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa cycle.

Good news indeed. Also, it takes about seven weeks to recover from a broken jaw, and with the season opener coming in twelve weeks, it looks like Ben could return in plenty of time for the Steelers.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 12, 2006 3:07 PM

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