Nate Burleson: Change behind wheel

ALLEN PARK, Mich. -- Detroit Lions receiver Nate Burleson, in his first public comments since his single-car crash that broke both bones in his left forearm, said he anticipates returning to the field this season.

"I don't know. I would say sooner than later," Burleson said. "Hearing from them before the surgery and after the surgery, even walking in [Friday] I am doing a lot of things I shouldn't be doing at this point, which means my body's responding, muscles are firing.

"I don't want to throw no numbers out there, but I'll be back sooner than a lot of people expect."

How he reached this point started early Tuesday when Burleson said he drove onto Interstate 696 in his black 2009 GMC Yukon. He went to plug his phone into his car so he could play his music. Then a pizza -- now known as a deep-dish pepperoni from Happy's Pizza and Pub in West Bloomfield, Mich. -- started to slide out of an open box.

Burleson looked away from the road and reached over to stop the box, which he said had pizza and wings in it, from falling. He tried to grab it one-handed but grabbed a handful of pizza instead, and when he looked up he thought he was close to another car. Burleson then swerved, overcorrected and hit the center median.

He said he was wearing his seat belt and believes it helped him escape more serious injuries.

This was the first time he has been in a car accident, Burleson said.

"I don't want to sound like a public service announcement, but I usually multitask when I'm driving," Burleson said. "I've heard it all before, 'don't do it.' That'll be the last time I do anything.

"I wasn't on the phone texting but just taking your eyes off the road briefly, and I do it all the time."

After the wreck, Burleson got out of the car and checked his body. He said he had blood on his shirt from his chin. When an ambulance arrived, a paramedic pulled up Burleson's sleeve and saw a shift in his left wrist.

Burleson had surgery at West Bloomfield Henry Ford Hospital. He said the breaks were clean and that the surgery, which he thinks lasted about two hours, was performed by Bill Moutzouros and Trent Guthrie, the same doctors who repaired his knee last year.

Burleson was riding a bike Friday, holding a tennis ball in his casted left arm -- worn voluntarily, not on doctors' orders, he stressed -- while speaking to the media. He said he hopes to start running in a couple of weeks.