However, Mendenhall is optimistic that he will be recovered enough to play in the 2012 season, and if everything goes right, he could be ready by Week 1.
Mendenhall: Still swelling and soreness in knee, calls best-case scenario "Week 1" for his return. Fully expects to play in 2012. #Steelers— Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) May 23, 2012
That might be a bit ambitious. If Mendenhall is unable to go early in the 2012 NFL season, other running backs like Isaac Redman and Jonathan Dwyer will be expected to help carry the load before Mendenhall returns.