In his first year of retirement, Dr. Mike Crabtree will be taking a more measured approach to the rehabilitation process.
He won’t be pushing himself for weeks on end.
The former Carolina Panthers quarterback, who will miss the rest of the season after tearing his ACL in Week 8, told ESPN.com on Monday that he’s “not a big believer in trying to rehab and rehab and make sure you’re doing it right.”
“I just want to be patient with myself and let the process unfold,” Crabtree said.
“I think I can handle it.
I’m not going to push myself and push myself into anything.
I can do whatever my body wants to do. “
My body is in great shape.
I can do whatever my body wants to do.
So it will be up to me and the doctors to let the doctors do the rehab.”
Crabtree, a former Pro Bowl selection, underwent ACL reconstruction surgery in April 2016 and has been a staple of the Carolina offense since his return.
He was a key cog in the team’s run to the Super Bowl.
The 33-year-old had a breakout season, rushing for 1,924 yards and 19 touchdowns.
He finished third on the Panthers with 854 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Crabtree also led the team in rushing and receiving and was named a Pro Bowl alternate.
“It’s been a lot of fun, but I’m just happy to be back and to have this opportunity to play in this building,” Crabwood said.
Averaging 8.9 yards per carry in the regular season and 10.4 yards per reception, Crabtree was the Panthers’ second-leading rusher in 2016.
But he missed most of training camp and then missed his second consecutive game in Week 7 with an ankle injury.
He had surgery the following week, but missed all of training camps and the first seven games.
Crabton said he hasn’t felt “overly optimistic” about his chances of playing this season, but said he was “very optimistic” he’ll be back this season.
Crabtree is expected to be cleared for full practice this week and be eligible to return before the Panthers open the regular-season schedule against the New York Jets.
ESPN.com Panthers beat reporter Rob Demovsky contributed to this report.