SANTA CLARA – Mario Manningham spoke at his locker Tuesday afternoon. Here is what he said.
Q: What are your thoughts after finally being out there?
MANNINGHAM: Just trying to get my confidence back. Running routes. Trying to keep my quickness and get separation from the defender. That’s all. Keep doing what I’m here for.
Q: Are you under any restrictions or are you a full go or are you day by day?
MANNINGHAM: Just taking it day by day, seeing how it feels, doing a couple periods. Just doing what I have to do to get back 100, ease my way into it.
Q: What have you been able to do up until today?
MANNINGHAM: Everything. Cutting. Ladders. Running. Catching. Everything really, just haven’t put it together yet.
Q: And in your mind how are you feeling with everything?
MANNINGHAM: I’m getting confident. By the time I step out there on Sunday I’ll be 100.
Q: When you say Sunday, though, you don’t know which Sunday.
MANNINGHAM: Nope. I just know it will be a Sunday. Don’t know when. I’m just trying to get my confidence back, stay right upstairs. You can get caught up in not playing. I’m just trying to keep my attitude positive. Just trying to stay in tune with what the team is doing. It’s hard to be in the meetings when you’re not involved, but I’m just trying to get back and in sync and everything.
Q: When you say upstairs, do you mean your trust in your knee or a positive attitude overall?
MANNINGHAM: A positive attitude overall. Meetings, being a good team player, supporting my team like I’ve been doing.
Q: Looking back, was it tough being on crutches…
MANNINGHAM: I ain’t thinking about them crutches, man! We ain’t got to talk about them crutches. We’re past that.
Q: Were you sick of them?
MANNINGHAM: I was sick of them, yeah, but that’s behind me. I’m here to talk about the present.
Q: Is there anything you can gain from your time away?
MANNINGHAM: Yeah, learn how to break the huddle with a sense of urgency. Hurry up and get to the line before the DBs. Get the edge on the defenders. Just try to stay ahead of what the defense is doing. That’s the biggest thing. I know when I get out there I’m not going to be thinking about my knee. It’s stronger than my other one, so I’m just trying to do what I’ve got to do.
ME: Do you expect to be a full go in practice tomorrow?
MANNINGHAM: No. I just got cleared yesterday, man! I can’t do a whole practice. I’ll ease my way into it.
Q: You guys have a Bye in three weeks. Are you looking at that as your last warm up before you return to the field?
MANNINGHAM: I’m not sure because I’m don’t know how I’ m going to feel next week. If I feel good, I might play. If I don’t, I’m not going to play. I’m not putting a time limit on there. I’m just taking it day by day.
Q: Is this the first major injury you’ve had in your career?
Q: What did you learn from it?
MANNINGHAM: Be patient. Come back stronger. Every day that you wake up you’ve got to think in your head you’re going to come back stronger than when you left. I’m just trying to do what I’ve got to do to be in shape, be as strong as I can and as smart as I can to know more than I did when I get back out there.