Ex-Steelers G DeCastro reveals need for ankle surgery, has 'no problem' with possible retirement

When a fishy scent wafts past your nose, the obvious move is to look for the rotting fish under the floorboards.

When the Pittsburgh Steelers surprisingly cut Pro Bowl guard David DeCastro, the immediate speculation turned to an injury potentially ending his career.

In a text to Joe Starkey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, DeCastro confirmed reports of an injured ankle.

"I have to get surgery on my ankle a third time," DeCastro told Starkey. "I tried to fix it last year, but the bone spurs kept coming back. It nagged me pretty bad all last year."

DeCastro underwent surgery on his ankle before last season. Knee and abdominal issues kept him out three games. He was also listed on the injury report at times with a hand issue. The ankle problem never popped up on the injury report.

Asked point-blank by Starkey if he wants to continue his career, the 31-year-old guard confirmed retirement is on the table.

"Gotta see how the surgery goes," DeCastro replied. "But I'd have no problem calling it a day and moving on with my life."

While most of the Steelers veterans participated in mandatory minicamp earlier this month, DeCastro sat out the three-day session, indicating something was amiss.

Asked by Jim Wexell of Steel City Insider when he realized he needed another surgery, DeCastro said it was indeed during Pittsburgh's mandatory minicamp.

"Yeah, just recently," DeCastro explained. "I gave it some time. I didn't start working out on it until the month before. I let it rest, but I got the MRI at minicamp and was waiting on the doctor's opinion on what to do at minicamp. He came back and said I needed surgery."

The Steelers released DeCastro with a non-football injury designation Thursday, ending a nine-year run in Pittsburgh. DeCastro earned six straight trips to the Pro Bowls, including in 2020, and two All-Pro nods during his time in the Steel City.

Saving $8.75 million in cap space, the Steelers immediately turned to Trai Turner, signing the veteran guard to a one-year contract.

DeCastro's future likely comes down to when he recovers from a third ankle surgery, how the guard feels about the future at that point, and potentially playing for another team.

It would surprise no one if the bulldozing DeCastro, best known for pancaking defenders on the move, simply hung up his cleats after his latest surgery.

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