Motorcycle accident hasn’t damaged Roethlisberger’s enthusiasm |

Motorcycle accident hasn’t damaged Roethlisberger’s enthusiasm

Jeremy Evans, Tahoe Daily Tribune

STATELINE, Nev. ” In one of his first public appearances since his June 12 motorcycle accident, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger appeared healthy and upbeat when he spoke to reporters on Friday before the first round of the American Century Championship at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course in Stateline, Nev.

Roethlisberger, who wasn’t wearing a helmet at the time of the accident, broke his jaw and several other facial bones. The 24-year-old quarterback can now eat solid foods after being limited to milkshakes and protein shakes in the weeks immediately following the accident.

“Every day I wake up and I feel a little bit better,” said Roethlisberger, who became the youngest quarterback to win the Super Bowl when he led the Steelers to a 21-10 win over Seattle in Super Bowl XL in Detroit this year. “Maybe people criticize me for being out here, but I’m trying to live my normal life and I need to get back to that.”

Roethlisberger was grouped with actor Ray Romano and Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Ronde Barber for Friday’s first round. The 54-hole tournament ends on Sunday, just 12 days before the Steelers open training camp. The quarterback, who boasts a 27-4 record as a starter, said there is no chance he won’t be ready for the upcoming season.

“I guarantee I’ll be ready,” he said. Roethlisberger crashed his motorcycle in a busy Pittsburgh intersection. “I’ve working out for two weeks now … throwing, running, lifting. My goal is to be 100 percent, and I think I can get there. If not, I’ll be 99 percent.”

Roethlisberger gave his first live interview since the accident earlier this week to ESPN’s Jim Rome. He also appeared on “Good Morning America” on Friday. During his interview with ESPN, he told Rome he was “seconds, maybe a minute away from dying” after the accident.

In addition to the broken jaw and other facial bones, Roethlisberger had five plates inserted in his head and still has swelling around his lips. But other than the swelling and red blotches around his eyes, he looks normal.

“He looks fine,” said real estate magnate and TV celebrity Donald Trump, who spoke with Roethlisberger before Friday’s first round. “He actually looks better than he used to look. It shows how tough Ben is. If it was anybody else, he’d still be in the hospital.”

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