Clay Matthews will have the pins removed from his surgically repaired right thumb next Monday before the Green Bay Packers play the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.
After that point, the Packersí four-time Pro Bowl outside linebacker said heíll likely play with a club whenever doctors clear him to return to the field, which could come as early as a Nov. 10 game against Philadelphia
When Matthews first sustained the injury on a sack of Matthew Stafford in a 22-9 win over Detroit earlier this month, he thought he might be able to return for the fourth quarter before the X-rays indicated a Bennettís fracture, which required surgery.
ďI was all for it (playing), but there was no way around it with (what) these doctors were telling me the possible risks were as well as future life after football as far as my hand and what could happen,Ē said Matthews on Wednesday. ďI definitely would like to push through it. I feel like I could and Iíd be able to. Pain is not an issue for me. Itís more so about being smart and at times Iím not the smartest.Ē
Here's what else Matthews had to say during Wednesday's media access:
On being impressed on the defenseís performance without him:
ďIíve been very impressed with our team. Itís not just about me. Thereís a bunch of other guys on this team and theyíve been doing a fantastic job, specifically speaking on defense, getting pressure on the quarterback. Obviously, doing a great job of keeping points off the board, which is clearly evident by how we played last week. Obviously, there was a little bit of a letup, which we need to correct that weíve given up some touchdowns in the fourth quarter this year, but ultimately weíve been doing a great job. Itís good to see.Ē
On having the pins removed on Monday:
ďYeah, the rumors are true. They come out on Monday and weíll take it from there. It feels good. Obviously, itís a unique break, and like Iíve said, in that if something were to happen to the pins while playing with it that could mean a potential for season (being) over for me. Weíre being cautious and careful with this. Iíll have more news when they take the pins out.Ē
On feeling a rush to get back:
ďI feel a rush to get back from within, but winning definitely helps. I have to be smart. The doctors are being very smart and cautious with me, as well, so weíll see. Itís obviously very frustrating but Iíll try and be back there as soon as I can.Ē
On having to learn to be patient:
ďIím not a patient guy as you guys are well aware. Iíll never learn to be patient. Itís difficult because with most rehab injuries you feel as if youíre getting better and working toward something, but with this itís obviously a different case. I kind of have to wait for doctorsí opinions and specific procedures in order to take the field. Thatís what is the most frustrating.Ē
Did you feel it when it occurred:
ď When you break a bone in your hand, especially with the adrenaline running, you donít really feel it until afterwards when the pain kicks in, but pain is not an issue as far as playing through it. Iíve played through a number of injuries. Iíve got a great pain threshold. Itís about being smart and what Iím capable of doing Ė at this position, too, itís difficult with one hand. Iíll deal with that when Iím able to club it up and come back, but for the time being weíre praying for the best and hoping my body heals up on time and get back out there and help this team out.Ē
How did it happen?
ďI have no idea to be honest with you. I think it took an awkward hit and unfortunately it just broke, so thatís that.Ē