Ward doubtful but Tomlin hasn't ruled receiver out of game

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Hines Ward
has a sprained right knee and is doubtful for Sunday's game at

Ward has missed only three games due to injury in 10 NFL
seasons, and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday he hasn't
ruled Ward out of the game.

"I have learned not to count a guy like Hines Ward out,"
Tomlin said. "That's why I'm saying it's being characterized as
doubtful. We'll take it day to day and see where he is."

Ward, injured during a 37-16 victory over San Francisco on
Sunday, walked without a limp while reporting to a team meeting
Monday, but was on crutches later in the day.

Ward was hurt while being the intended receiver on consecutive
plays during a Steelers drive early in the third quarter. He had
one reception before leaving the game, extending the four-time Pro
Bowl receiver's streak to 136 consecutive games with at least one

Steelers center Sean Mahan also sprained a knee against the
49ers, but stayed in the game by wearing a brace. He is expected to
play Sunday.

"It may limit him somewhat in practice [Wednesday], but we
expect him to be up and running and ready to go definitely by
Thursday," Tomlin said.

Rookie tight end Matt Spaeth is questionable because of the
bruised quadriceps that kept him out of the 49ers game. Spaeth
caught two touchdown passes in the Steelers' first two games.