Anquan Boldin absorbed much more than a simple facial fracture from perhaps the most violent hit of the NFL season three weeks ago.
The Arizona Cardinals receiver, speaking about his injury against the New York Jets for the first time, told radio station XTRA 910 that in addition to having surgery to repair a sinus fracture, he had wires inserted in his lower jaw to correct his bite and also was diagnosed with a concussion.
Boldin hasn't played since suffering a helmet-to-helmet hit from Jets safety Eric Smith in the final minutes of a 56-35 loss to the Jets on Sept. 28.
According to excerpts from his interview with XTRA 910, Boldin recently passed a concussion test. He returned to practice on Monday.
"I'm feeling good enough to put a helmet back on now," he said after the light workout.
The standout wide receiver was scheduled to see the doctor on Tuesday and hoped to gain medical clearance to play Sunday, when the Cardinals are at Carolina.
"I feel like I'm ready to go," he said. "That's what I've been working toward these past couple of weeks, getting back on the field after the bye week."
Boldin told the station he has been lifting weights and running routes and has regained the 10 pounds he lost after having surgery.
The NFL suspended Smith for one game and fined him $50,000 for the hit. Smith, who lost his appeal of the penalties, said recently he thinks the NFL "made an example" of him with its punishment. He insisted there was no malicious intent on his part.
The league said Smith committed a flagrant violation of player safety rules and that Boldin was in a defenseless position when contact was made.
Boldin was off to a terrific start with 27 catches for 366 yards and five touchdowns in four games before getting injured.
Boldin repeated his belief that it was just "an unfortunate incident" and nothing malicious.
"A guy hit me from the behind so I couldn't absorb the blow like I usually do from in front," Boldin said. " My helmet kind of lifted up and the guy hit me square on."
He said he's seen video of the hit a few times, and repeated that it will have no impact on his trademark bruising style.
"The way that I approach the game won't change," he said. "The way that I play won't change."
Without Boldin, the Cardinals beat Buffalo and Dallas, then had last weekend off.
"We got a little bit [from him] last week, but to see him have the helmet on and go through some of the drills was good to see," Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt said.
Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald said the return of Boldin would make a good Arizona offense even better.
"I'm ecstatic," Fitzgerald said. "Q's a big part of what we're able to do on offense. With him back this offense is so much more versatile. He can line up in the backfield, he can play quarterback, he can be in the slot, he can be outside. It just gives the defenses more things to prepare for, and it gives me the opportunity to make some deep plays."
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.