Steelers linebacker Sean Spence eyeing 2013 return following gruesome knee injury

Injured Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Sean Spence says he expects to play sometime this season.

Spence severely injured his left knee in the preseason finale against Carolina last summer. He underwent surgery to repair three torn ligaments and said Wednesday the goal is for him to play in 2013.

Pittsburgh selected Spence in the third round of the 2012 draft with an eye toward taking over at inside linebacker following James Farrior's release and retirement. He played well in the preseason before taking an awkward step against the Panthers and gruesomely twisting the knee.

Spence said he can run but is deciding to sit out organized team activities as a precaution. He plans to take things slow but isn't putting a timetable on when he thinks he'll be ready to play.