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Bush expects to play next week

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

New Orleans running back Reggie Bush said Wednesday he'll play "for sure'' Nov. 16 against Kansas City.

Bush injured his knee Oct. 19 at Carolina and had surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Bush missed the game against San Diego in London and said his chances of playing at Atlanta on Sunday aren't good.

Bush discussed his injury at length with the media Wednesday. Here's a transcript of what he had to say.

Can you talk about your status?

Reggie Bush: I ran today and it felt pretty good, but I haven't practiced yet, so chances probably aren't that good, but we'll see what happens. For sure I'll play next week, but as far as this week we'll see what happens. I'm not sure. Like I said, I ran today, it felt pretty good. I lifted, pretty heavy.

Was this the first day you ran on your knee?

RB: The first day I actually ran outside. I've been running a lot in the pool, so I've been doing running, just not outside on the field, inside, so like I said, it felt really good.

Are you ahead of schedule at this point?

RB: I think definitely ahead of schedule. To have surgery two weeks ago, I think that would be ahead of schedule. I feel good about that.

Do you think you were having your best season up until you got hurt?

RB: Yes, it was going pretty well. Hopefully I can get back to doing those same things once I get back on the field. Hopefully I don't miss a beat and everything's pretty much normal. Things are going pretty good, but there's still a long way to go. There's still a lot of football left in this season. I'm taking it game by game and hopefully we're pulling this out.

Is there a fear that you push it and come back too soon since there's a lot of football left?

RB: Yes, obviously you always worry about your health first, because at the end of the day that's all you got. I'm definitely going to focus on being as healthy as I can before stepping on that field and not allowing my competitive nature to take over. I have to be smart about this. This is a business decision at the end of the day. I have to make sure my body's right, up to par and 100 percent before I step on the field.

Will you definitely play next week?

RB: Yes, I definitely feel like I'll be playing next week. That's how good I feel right now. Definitely with another week I'll feel 100 percent ready to go.

How disappointing was it to not be a part of the team in London after you had been doing promotional appearances for the team over there in the offseason?

RB: It was tough because I wanted to be there with my team and be there to enjoy the experience with my teammates and I was looking forward to playing over there and maybe gaining some fans over there. It was tough not being able to go over there and enjoy the whole experience overall, but guys took care of business and go the win. That's the most important thing.

Where did you watch the game?

RB: I watched it at my house. It was a great game. We played great. We have to clean up some mistakes on offense and defense and just get better every week. That's what we have to focus on.

Is it swelling or pain that will make you decide whether or not to play this week?

RB: No, there's been very, very minimal swelling ever since I had surgery. I'll be looking for stability and strength. How strong will it be? I want to be able to explosive, because that's what it comes down to and my game is more explosive. If I don't have that, I'm not going to be myself out there. I have to make sure I have all the right tools and I'm able to do all the things I was able to do before I got hurt.

Are you confident of that three-four week prognosis that the explosiveness will be back?

RB: Yes. Definitely. Monday will be three weeks. Running feels really good. I've been lifting for at least a week now pretty heavy. The running is coming. I feel like in another week I'll be ready to go.

Did whatever they do help correct the issue of the swelling?

RB: As far as I understand they just shaved the meniscus down a little bit and that's really it. The tear was a pretty good tear. They shaved it down.

Do you know what was causing the problem before, was it related to last season's PCL injury?

RB: Probably related to it a little bit of a small tear before and eventually it just tore.

Do you think you'll come back from this healthier than before?

RB: Yes, I should. I'm definitely going to do everything everyday to continue to strengthen it and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Did it happen originally against Tampa?

RB: No, the meniscus didn't happen against Tampa. I had a bone bruise against Tampa that kind of stuck with me for a few weeks.

Did you aggravate the injury on your last punt return of the first half against Carolina?

RB: Yes. It tore on the return. It was when I broke the first tackle. That's when I think it tore.

Can you still run on it a little even if you had a tear?

RB: The way my knee was feeling after (the return), it felt like my knee was lopsided pretty bad. The meniscus is basically the cushion between your two bones. When you lose some of that you lose the cushion when you make those abrupt stops and cuts, so really it felt like my knee was lopsided after that. It didn't hurt, but it was weird. I definitely couldn't run after that.

Did you start rehabilitating right after the surgery?

RB: I started right away with ice for the first three days, staying home with ice, trying to keep the swelling down, it was really no swelling, so it was trying to help it heal and staying on the supplements to help my body recover faster and stuff for my joints and bones.

Do you think the lack of continuity at certain positions this season has contributed to the 4-4 record?

RB: It definitely hurts. You know there's always the possibility of injury. You just hope it's not so much where it affects your team directly with wins and losses. That could definitely be a reason why we've lost some games. At the end of the day guys have to step up. We have to focus on our second and third string guys being able to step in and not miss a beat. We can't have guys that step in there and don't know what to do or aren't playing as well as the starters, so we have to have guys that are able to step in.

As a runner prior to your injury, did you feel the game was slowing down for you and you were becoming more patient?

RB: It was coming along. It stinks I got injured. It's part of the game. It's a physical game. You always hope that you try and do everything possible not to get injured, but it's a physical game. You don't know.