METAIRIE, La. -- After Reggie Bush left New Orleans Saints practice on Tuesday morning to ice his surgically repaired left knee, the running back said that he wasn't worried.
"I iced it just as a precaution, so when I ice it, that means I'm just maintaining," Bush said. "I've got to stay on top of it and treat it as if it was the first day I injured it."
Bush discarded the ice after a while and continued to stand with the running backs, still wearing his jersey and shoulder pads, for the remainder of practice. But he did not participate in drills and looked stiff as he walked with a slight limp.
Bush had surgery on his left knee last December to repair cartilage. Drafted second overall in 2006, the former Heisman Trophy winner out of Southern California has missed 10 games in his past two NFL seasons.
Head coach Sean Payton has already held Bush out of a couple practices on days when the Saints practice twice, limiting the star running back to one practice a day.
The Saints had two practices scheduled on Wednesday, and Bush said he planned to practice in the afternoon. Payton said that was the plan as well.
When Bush has practiced, he has done so vigorously. As recently as Tuesday afternoon, he turned an end run into a 15-yard touchdown during 11-on-11 drills.
Bush said he's had one MRI performed since training camp began late last week and said "everything came back great."
"Now it's just about getting myself back to football shape and getting my knee back to carrying the load again," Bush said.
Payton stressed that the Saints need to be careful with Bush and added he was confident the star running back is healthy enough to play in a regular-season game now.
"He's doing well," Payton said. "I'm just trying to be smart about the amount of work I give him so that it doesn't become a bigger factor when we get ready to play in the season. But he'd play this evening if we were playing. ... I'm not concerned with Reggie at all."