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Posted: Monday October 1, 2012 1:37PM ; Updated: Monday October 1, 2012 1:40PM

Steelers RB Mendenhall expected back this week

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Rashard Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall ran for 928 yards and nine touchdowns last season.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/ZUMAPRESS.com
NFL Team Page

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is expected to return from an ACL injury this Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles, ESPN.com reported Monday.

The Steelers could use a healthy Mendenhall as they come off a bye averaging just 65 rushing yards a game and 2.6 yards per carry, both rank 31st in the NFL.

Mendenhall sustained the knee injury during the final regular season game of last season. He has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in two of the past three seasons.

"I'm really just waiting on my opportunity," Mendenhall told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I just want to continue to work and, as we as an offense sort of form ourselves and bring the pieces together, I want to bring whatever piece I bring.

"But we struggled as a running game early in the season last year, and that's part of it. We just want to continue to grow and, as long as we get better and not worse, that's what we want to do. But we see it from a different light -- we see how close we are (to breaking out) so we just will keep working."

He told the Post-Gazette that his speed and ability to make cuts has returned, but he will have to adjust to working with a few new teammates and to new offensive coordinator Todd Haley's offense.

"It is a different offense, and we have some different guys and we're just trying to figure out how to put it all together," Mendenhall said.

-- The Sports Xchange

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