No target date set for Tyrann Mathieu's return from ACL tear

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Tyrann Mathieu doesn’t have a target date to return to football after suffering his second knee injury in three seasons in December, the Arizona Cardinals safety said Sunday.

Mathieu, who was attending coach Bruce Arians' fundraiser golf tournament in Scottsdale as a spectator, wouldn’t predict when he’ll be completely healthy from an ACL injury suffered in Week 15 against the Philadelphia Eagles.

“I don’t really want to rush it,” Mathieu said. “Whenever I’m comfortable, that’s when I want to go out there.”

But don’t bet against Mathieu returning by the start of the regular season, said defensive coordinator James Bettcher.

“I think Ty’s going to be ready to go,” Bettcher said. “I do. I wouldn’t bet against Ty. Don’t do it. You’re going to lose.”

Sunday was 12 weeks since Mathieu suffered the injury. In that time, he’s started “moving around” and “jumping around, kind of.” Mathieu posted a video on Twitter 11 days ago of him running on a treadmill in a harness.

“I feel great,” Mathieu said. “Moving around well. I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at right now.”

Compared with his recovery from his 2013 ACL and LCL injury, Mathieu said this rehab has been “so much easier.” This injury was a clean tear and just one ligament compared with frayed ligaments three years ago.

Mathieu said he was immobile following surgery in 2013, whereas he was walking around a golf course three months after surgery on Sunday.

“This time, I pretty much hit the ground running,” Mathieu said.

The next step in Mathieu’s recovery will be to don a helmet and begin football drills. He expects that to happen in the next couple of months.

When Mathieu was asked about the public perception of him having two major knee injuries in three seasons, he summoned his inner Honey Badger. He doesn’t care.

“I’ve always loved the challenge,” Mathieu said. “My life has always been challenging and, to be honest, I really wouldn’t want it any other way.”