CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina Panthers starting right tackle Jeff Otah acknowledged Thursday that he has had continued problems in his recovery from two surgeries on his left knee and is still "two or three weeks" from being able to play.
from experts, pivotal games, players on the hot seat, fantasy analysis and
more with NFL.com's team-by-team
season previews. More ...
"I had a mini-setback," Otah said. "Things didn't go as planned."
The 6-foot-6, 335-pound Otah first had surgery in December to repair torn cartilage that knocked him out of the final three games. Otah had continued pain when players reported to training camp and was placed on the physically unable to perform list.
Otah had another arthroscopic procedure on the same knee Aug. 4. He was recovering from that when the pain recently returned while he was running.
"I might have pushed myself a little too hard coming back. Then I had a setback," said Otah, who hasn't practiced since training camp began. "Little upset with that, but I've got to move on and try to get back out there."
But behind the starting line is uncertainty. The only other linemen on Carolina's roster are Garry Williams, who played in seven games mostly on special teams as an undrafted rookie last year, and Tim Duckworth, a journeyman who signed with the team Aug. 30.
Otah, who became an immediate starter after being a first-round draft pick in 2008, said he hasn't had swelling in the knee, just nagging pain.
"I didn't expect it to take this long. It's frustrating," Otah said. "All I can do is try to rehab as hard as I can and get back out there."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press