Mental hurdle next step for Minter's return

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Give Arizona Cardinals linebacker Kevin Minter another week of practice and his left pectoral muscle will be ready for playing football again, he said Tuesday.

He needs the next few days to rebuild the strength he lost when he injured the pec in the first preseason game, but more importantly to Minter's return, he needs to rebuild his mentality on the field.

"It's just getting in my mind that it's not hurting," he said. "It's really a mental thing."

After Tuesday's practice, Minter said his pec was feeling better. It was sore after Thursday night's game in San Diego, where he played 28 snaps. He had four tackles even though he struggled grasping offensive players as he tried to bring them down.

"It was more of just coming down hill again, using it," Minter said. "I had to get my mind to use it. That's what it really was. I feel like after a week of practice, I feel like I'll be able to really use it again."

Minter is slated to start Monday night against San Diego in Week 1 alongside Larry Foote for his first start as a professional.

He's not in pain anymore and he's almost back to full strength. All he wants is another week and he'll be ready.

"It's close to that now," he said. "Just getting used to using it again, not being afraid of it."