Johnny Knox: "I'm taking my time"

Chicago's leading wide receiver last season, Johnny Knox, who is still recovering from spinal surgery, isn't sure when, or if, he'll return in 2012.

During last season's Week 15 matchup against the Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox, after catching a pass, fumbled the ball.

As he dove for the pigskin, he was hit and bent almost completely backward. The best way to describe it: he was scorpioned.

He underwent back spinal surgery shortly thereafter and was in a back brace for two and a half months.

Knox was on the sidelines yesterday during OTA practice, walking very gingerly. He said he still hasn't seen the hit on film.

WR Johnny Knox
Mike DiNovo/US Presswire

"I probably don't want to see it until I retire," he said. "After the hit, I moved my legs, so I knew that was a good sign. After I got out of surgery, Doc told me I'd be able to play again. So, that was a plus."

Yet when he'll be able to resume football activities is anyone's guess.

"There's really no timetable," Knox said. "We're all taking our time on this. I'm taking my time. I'm just focused on rehabbing right now. I want to get back out there at the beginning of the season. But who knows. We'll see how that turns out."

He said he lost 30 pounds while in the back brace. The weight loss was very noticeable. Because of that, he's working now to gain back that weight and get his body into playing shape.

"My main focus right now is just in that weight room, because if I don't get stronger in that weight room, I won't be able to come out here and practice with the team."

The Bears have added some new pieces to the receiving corps this offseason, yet Knox said he's not worried about losing his job.

"Not at all, because even I was out there, guys are coming in and leaving. So when I get back out there, I'm just going to compete as if I was still out there."

Knox said the support he's received from those around him has helped him through the injury and recovery process.

"Since Day One, my mindset has been real positive. No letdowns. No setbacks," he said. "I'm surrounded by a great group of people, a great organization, friends, family and they're keeping me positive and I'm just staying positive and moving forward.

"I'm doing great."

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Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of Bear Report magazine and and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. To read him every day, visit and become a Chicago Bears insider.

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