Sprained knee is Smith's first real FB injury

As it turns out, Alex Smith played most of Sunday's loss to the Redskins with two sprained ligaments in his right knee, which was injured when he was hit by Washington linebacker LaVar Arrington in the first quarter of a 52-17 loss. Smith played the rest of the game, but the 49ers' rookie quarterback on Monday wore a heavy wrap and brace on the knee, which stiffened up afterward and apparently has some fluid built up behind the kneecap.

Smith talked about his injury and other issues pertaining to it Monday:

On his sprained knee: "I kept playing on it the rest of the game. I woke up this morning stiff, but hopefully I can get it down."

On the play that the injury happened: "It happened on the sideline. It was the bootleg where I was running and I tried to duck him. I rolled over on it."

On whether he felt the discomfort right away: "Yes, the minute I did it, I knew right away. It obviously didn't feel that good, but I wanted to finish the game. It was early when it happened."

On whether he'll be able to practice this week: "I have no idea. I put a lot of time in rehab today and I'm going to continue to do that tomorrow. From talking to (trainers), it's one of those things that you have to play by ear. For some people it takes longer, but I want to see how much I can tolerate."

On whether he's ever had an injury like this before: "No. I've never been injured. I might have had some back injuries and that was due to the lifting. I had a concussion before, but other than that I've been pretty fortunate playing. Other people probably would have run out of bounds and got out of bounds. It's something that I need to learn from, especially when it's over one or two yards. It wasn't a third-down situation or something where the game was on the line."

On what kind of rehab he's going through: "When I woke up this morning it was stiff, so I came in and got in a lot of ice. I went and got the MRI this morning. I was trying to do anything that I can to get the swelling down. It's just a sprain. They told me that it was going to try to heal itself then after that we're moving towards recovery."

On whether he was thinking about the sprain while he continued to play on it the final three quarters: "It still bothered me throughout the rest of the game. At times when we watched the film I can see where it bothered me. I tried to throw a sleeve on the knee so I could keep it from stiffing up."

On whether he played better against the Redskins than in his Oct. 9 starting debut against Indianapolis: "Definitely. Four interceptions (against the Colts) is not a good day. I still turned the ball over too many times. I felt better in my mind, especially versus a team that was bringing pressure. Two weeks ago, I played against a team that bought one pressure the entire game. And to play that way now, against a team that was throwing all that at me, was definitely a good feeling. It still felt slower to me. I still miss some opportunities. It was better, but I'm still frustrated with it because I'm so accustomed to playing well. It's getting there. I just have to get patient with the growing process. I'm still frustrated at times."

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