Big Ben practices, but is questionable

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger practiced Saturday but remains questionable for Monday night’s game at San Francisco.

Roethlisberger sprained his left ankle during a 14-3 win over Cleveland on Dec. 8. He did not speak to reporters following practice, but guard Ramon Foster said the quarterback showed little problems throwing the ball despite limited mobility.

”I could see him playing against the 49ers,” Foster said. ”I guess we won’t know for sure for a couple days, but with a late Monday night game and two more days to rest and rehab I think he’ll be all right to play. And I certainly wouldn’t bet against him.”

Roethlisberger last missed a start due to injury in 2009. Veteran Charlie Batch will get the start if Roethlisberger can’t go.

Safety Troy Polamalu (right hamstring) and linebacker LaMarr Woodley (left hamstring) are probable, but the Steelers will be without center Maurkice Pouncey (left ankle sprain) and wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders (sprained right foot).

Despite indications that he almost certainly will play, Polamalu declined to say he was ready.

”The younger you are, I would think the more repetitions you got the better you’d be,” Polamalu said. ”But I, obviously, need a lot of repetitions and wasn’t able to get those.”

Doug Legursky will start at center in place of Pouncey, while Trai Essex will take Legursky’s spot at left guard.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert (illness) and wide receiver Arnaz Battle (hamstring) are questionable.