Matthews, who had 13.5 sacks during the season and 3.5 more during the Packers' run to the Super Bowl title, mentioned the injury while answering a question about how much the Packers will miss departed defensive lineman Cullen Jenkins, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.
"I don't make a big deal of it," Matthews said Tuesday. "(It happened) some time in the middle of the season. You can't do anything about it. I was just taking practices off and showing up on game day and giving it my all."
Matthews was listed on the injury report every week from Week 9 through the NFC Championship Game as probable with a shin injury, which in fact was a lower-leg stress fracture.
Jenkins' presence last season seemingly helped Matthews, who had 14 of his 17 sacks during the 15 games in which the lineman played. In the five games Jenkins missed because of injury, Matthews had just three sacks.
"I also had a stress fracture in four of those games," Matthews said. "But nobody knows that. I had a stress fracture in my leg. A sore shin as you guys call it, but that's all right. Obviously, I'm not making excuses. Cullen is a terrific athlete, and we're definitely going to take a hit in our defensive line, but at the same time, I think they have confidence in the guys coming up."
Matthews, who also has struggled with hamstring issues during each of his first two NFL seasons (both of which resulted in Pro Bowl berths), took a different approach to his offseason training this year, including much more cardiovascular work. As a result, he arrived at Packers camp weighing six pounds less than he did in 2010.
"This offseason, I put an emphasis on really coming in here in great cardio shape and make sure I had done everything that I possibly could to say, 'Hey, this is how weâre going to prevent injuries,' " Matthews said. "That's the nature of the beast. You're going to get injured in this game, but I feel good. I feel good about where I'm at headed into my third year and feel like I can definitely outdo what I've put on paper and on film the last two years."