Steelers QB Roethlisberger Leaves Hospital After Surgery

Ben Roethlisberger was released from a hospital late Wednesday night after spending more than two days there recovering from facial injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident.

The Steelers quarterback left Mercy Hospital around 11:30 p.m., said team spokesman Dave Lockett. It was unclear where he went, Lockett said.

Doctors had encouraging words Wednesday about Roethlisberger, whose motorcycle collided with a car at a Pittsburgh intersection Monday morning. A second round of tests again showed no brain injuries, although he has a concussion.

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Roethlisberger got out of his bed to greet visitors Wednesday, less than 48 hours after being admitted to a hospital located only a few blocks from the crash site.

Players who visited with Roethlisberger said he is upbeat, and they are convinced he will be back quickly and with no diminished skills. Counting the playoffs, the Steelers have a 27-4 record with Roethlisberger at quarterback and have advanced to two AFC championship games and won a Super Bowl during his two seasons as a starter.

Because Roethlisberger's multiple facial fractures, broken nose and broken upper and lower jaw are being held in place by screws and 2-inch titanium plates, he can eat soft foods -- and not be restricted to liquids -- during an estimated six- to eight-week recovery period.

"We take a titanium plate, bend it and adapt it to the contours of the facial bones and then secure it in place with screws," surgeon Daniel Pituch said. "This kind of state-of-the-art technology allowed us to successfully treat Mr. Roethlisberger's facial fractures."

As a result, the 240-pound Roethlisberger probably won't lose as much weight as he would have on an all-liquid diet. The Steelers have not given a timetable for his return, but they are optimistic he will be ready for their Sept. 7 opener against Miami.

One of the team's concerns was how long Roethlisberger would need to regain his weight and strength after being unable to work out for what might be an extended period.

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