Bears running back Matt Forte refused to provide a timetable for his return from a second-degree MCL tear in his right knee, but he also insisted that he isn't going to milk the injury to punish the team because of his contract situation.
"I think people just assume what they would do, and ask if I would do that," Forte told the Sun-Times Tuesday at a promotional event at the PINK store at Water Tower in downtown Chicago. "I'm not saying I'm holding out, but I'm also not saying I'm going to try to go out there tomorrow and try to run.
"I can't really rush anything," said Forte, who suffered the injury in Sunday's 10-3 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. "I'm going to wait until everything is healed up before I get back out there."
Forte, though, did get on Tuesday morning a platelet rich plasma injection, which often speeds healing, sometimes a full week. And while he wants to return to rejoin his team, he did note that he learned a lesson about playing through injuries in 2009, when he started all 16 games despite several injuries, including an MCL sprain. That knee MCL injury wasn't as serious, he said.
"I'm just treating it, just like any other injury. I'm going to wait until I get 100 percent out there, because I don't want to hurt myself," he said. "And me not being a 100 percent, I'm going to hurt he team as well, because I cant do what I'm supposed to do."
Asked about Bears coach Lovie Smith expressing optimism that he could return this season, Forte said, "I have no idea.
"I don't want to make any predictions, because I don't know either. I think he was maybe being hopeful, because he's the coach."
Forte leads the NFL with 1,487 yards from scrimmage and he's third with 997 rushing yards.
In the first quarter of Sunday's game, Forte was drilled in his right knee by Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson. Forte was tended to on the field, before walking to the sideline on his own.
"I wasn't scared, but it hurt. I was trying to let the pain subside. But, after that, I knew it was inside, and I didn't really feel like it was anything major," Forte said. "I was just hoping I didn't need surgery, or anything like that."
He said trainers and doctors noticed looseness during an evaluation on the sideline, but they weren't alarmed that it was a significant knee injury. Their inclination was confirmed in the locker room, where Forte underwent further tests.
Still, he wasn't completely at ease until his MRI Monday morning.
"I was very relived, because nobody wants to have surgery, especially at running back," he said. "You need those knees to run and make moves and stuff."
While he did get the PRP injection, Forte didn't want to pin a target date for his return.
"They're all different," he said. "Some guys are 2-4 weeks. Some guys are 6. It depends on how it heals, and how the swelling goes down. The PRP should help it out."