METAIRIE, La. ― Saints running back Reggie Bush has been given the go ahead to test out his broken right leg this week for the first time since injuring it in New Orleans’ Sept. 20 game at San Francisco.
“At this point, medical clearance, that's to be determined this week,” Bush said Monday. “Well, it's up to me and the doctors. I can't just go out there on my own and say it feels great.”
Bush broke his right fibula in the second half of New Orleans’ 25-22 win over the 49ers. The original prognosis was a 4-6 week recovery and this weekend’s Sunday night affair (7:20 p.m. kickoff) with Pittsburgh would put him at the latter end of that time table.
He said he could test the leg as soon as Tuesday, though Wednesday is almost a given to be the first day he runs on the leg in an attempt to get back to the playing field.
“I expect to go out there and see what I can do,” Bush said. “I don't know if I can practice, if I'm going to be 100 percent. I'm just going to go out there and give it my best shot. I feel good, but I haven't gone out there.”
On Friday, Head Coach Sean Payton said Bush was on schedule to return by the Steelers game.
But by Monday, he had backed off that somewhat, saying how he responds this week will be the deciding factor.
“It’s going to be wait and see this week,” Payton said. “We’re optimistic, yet we’re guarded. I think we just have to pay attention to how this work week goes.”
Bush has been working out his leg, but said he hasn’t done any cutting or planting hard on the leg during his rehabilitation workouts.
When he begins cutting, that will, as much as anything, tell him if he’s ready to return.
“I'm an explosive player so, it's different doing things in the training room than getting out there on the football field and making those hard cuts and routes and all those things,” Bush said. “I've got to play a whole football game, not just an hour in the training room.”
He added, “(The doctors) have told me, 'When you feel you can tolerate a certain amount of running and cutting and stuff like that, then that's when you're ready to go.”