Paterno was briefly hospitalized earlier this month when a Nittany Lions receiver ran into him during practice, injuring his right shoulder and pelvis.
The 84-year-old Paterno coached from the press box during the 2008 season after he suffered a hip injury, but he doesn't want to go back to that.
"Some of the medical people want me to be upstairs," he said at a news conference Tuesday. "Being upstairs is for the birds. You just don't see the beginning. I like to be on the sidelines and get a feel for things and be able to grab a kid and tell him certain things. So I'm going to try hard to be on the sideline."
Paterno said he is still using a cane to walk, though he thinks he could get by without it.
"I've made good progress," he said. "But I can't move fast yet. I'd have trouble getting out of the way of some things. But I have three or four days before I have to make up my mind what I'm going to do."
One other thing Paterno apparently hasn't made up his mind about is the Nittany Lions starting quarterback situation. He said that both Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden would play during the opener, but he didn't name a starter or specify how each would be used.
"I don't have a crystal ball," Paterno said.
Paterno said both quarterbacks had made great strides since last year and both were capable of leading the team. He said the quarterback position "is not one of my concerns right now."
Brian Bennett covers Big Ten football for ESPN.com.