Terrell Owens says he'll play this year

Terrell Owens has put a timeline on his return to the NFL from offseason knee surgery.

"A month or less, I give you that," Owens told ESPN's Stephen A. Smith on Wednesday.

Owens, seated next to family members, opened the interview joking that he planned to retire after having surgery on a torn anterior cruciate ligament in April.

But Owens quickly shifted his mood, confirming to Smith that he is not planning on sitting out the season and wants to play for an NFL team in 2011.

"I'm going to come back," the six-time Pro Bowler said.

Owens, seemingly suggesting he has no plans to retire in the near-future, followed that by saying he will "be even better next year."

Asked what an NFL owner can expect if a team were to sign the occasionally-mercurial and often-controversial wideout, the 37-year old Owens told Smith, "They gonna get the T.O. that they expect. Don't expect anything less."

He continued, "I'm not gonna waste your time, so I wouldn't expect you to waste my time. When I step on the field, you know what you gonna get."

Owens said in August that he was not worried about skeptics who wonder if can still be a major NFL contributor. He said at the time that he was capable of making plays on the field, pointing out the 983 yards and nine touchdowns he had with the Cincinnati Bengals last season.

If he is not signed beforehand, the former San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles and Buffalo Bills wide receiver is scheduled to represent the NFL in a weekend-long series of events in London before the league's annual overseas game on Oct. 23.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.