Texans WR Johnson frustrated by knee injury

HOUSTON -- When Andre Johnson hurt his knee Sept. 16, he never dreamed it would keep him out this long.

"I didn't, that's why when it first happened it was like a joke when I was playing around like, 'Hey I might play this week,"' he said. "But it's not funny at all anymore."

The Texans' two-time Pro Bowler receiver has already missed four games with a knee sprain and isn't sure when he'll return. He's been running and caught a few passes this week, but said his leg remains weak.

It has put him in an unfamiliar position after he had missed just three games in his five-year career before this injury.

"It's real frustrating," he said. "I was joking around saying I might just go home and cut my leg off and get a new one."

Since that plan clearly isn't feasible, he is working to strengthen his leg and increase his range of motion while doing drills to get "get back in the flow of football."

Johnson said it has been difficult to watch games and not be able to contribute. He had 262 yards receiving in his two games this season.

"It's hard just to sit there and watch it on the sidelines because you want to do everything you can to be out there and help," he said. "That's the most frustrating part, because sometimes you feel like if I was out there to help maybe things would be a little different. It's something I'm learning to deal with and I hope I don't ever have to go through again."

The good news for Houston is that several players have emerged to carry the passing game in his absence. Andre' Davis, Owen Daniels and Kevin Walter have each had big games since he's been injured.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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