He missed OTAs, minicamp, thirty-four days of training camp and three preseason games. But Mike Wallace has finally joined the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Wallace, Pittsburgh's speedster Pro Bowl receiver, arrived at the team facility late this morning. He was spotted wearing a black t-shirt with a Michael Jordan logo, red backpack, red ballcap and shades.  

Prior to the Steelers' afternoon practice, Wallace did not speak with the media. According to team officials, he and coach Mike Tomlin were to hold separate media sessions after the afternoon practice.  

 "He wants to be here; unfortunately he couldn't because of the business aspect," WR Emmanuel Sanders said. "But he's definitely been getting into his playbook and working hard. I hear he's been out in Orlando working extremely hard to be here.

 "Mike ... is one of those guys who has an exceptional personality, and we're looking forward to getting him back."  

Wallace had yet to sign the $2.7 million tender the Steelers presented him with when he became a restricted free agent. Wallace received no offers from other teams in the restricted free agency period -- any team would have been required to give the Steelers a first-round pick in return.  

Wallace, through agent Bus Cook, was in negotiations with the Steelers over a longterm contract during midsummer. But the Steelers cut off talks when training camp began and Wallace was not present. General manager Kevin Colbert said the team would reopen negotiations when Wallace reported.

The club has long had a policy, however, of refusing to negotiate during the regular season. That gives the sides 12 days to iron out a longterm extension. If none is reached, Wallace is set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.  

Wallace made the Pro Bowl last season, as did fellow starting WR Antonio Brown. Sanders moves from the "X" deep threat receiver back to the slot to make room for Wallace. The Steelers also have veteran Jerricho Cotchery to serve as their No. 4 receiver.

"This group is extremely fast, extremely quick, and I think we have the opportunity to be very, VERY good offensively," FS Ryan Clark said. "I'm excited to get Mike back, but I'm also excited the way these other guys have been working. That's the one thing we don't want to overshadow. These guys have been working, and that only helps you when you get your No. 1 guy back.   

Per NFL rules, Wallace cannot practice until three days after he reports. After a Wednesday morning walkthrough, the Steelers will not practice again until next week.

They close out the preseason Thursday by hosting Carolina and open the regular season Sept. 9 at the Denver Broncos.

Sanders declared, "I think he'll be ready by Denver. ... No question about it."  

Follow Steelers reporter Chris Adamski on Twitter @CBSSportsNFLPIT and @BuzzsawPGH.