Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman said his bruised lung and cracked ribs should be fully recovered in about four to six weeks.
"I've never experienced an injury like that, of that magnitude," Tillman said. "It was definitely a little shock for me."
As he was trying to tackle Minnesota Vikings tight end Visanthe Shiancoe Dec. 28, Tillman was struck by Bears safety Craig Steltz. Tillman was attended to by doctors and trainers on the field for several minutes. Then, he was taken off the field on a stretcher and hospitalized.
Tillman said he too was alarmed by the seriousness of the situation.
"When it initially happened, it hurt. It hurt like hell. I almost cried, it hurt so bad," he said. "But I didn't."
Tillman likened the symptoms to an asthma attack.
"Or, for those who don't have asthma, a fish out of water, gasping for air," he said.
Asked how much longer he can play, Tillman said, "I can go another five, six."