SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – Expecting Cam Rising to make a return for the first week of the 2023 season was apparently extremely unrealistic.

Rising has in fact missed the first five games of the season, and has yet to be cleared by his doctor to play again. Rising offered some clarity Thursday on why his recovery from a knee injury is taking longer than expected.

Rising said in an interview with ESPN 700 in Salt Lake City that his injury was more significant than he or the school led on.

“I wasn’t really expecting to do this, but I just want to let everybody know I didn’t just tear my ACL,” Rising told ESPN 700. “I tore my meniscus, MPFL, and MCL. It was a big surgery and it’s not an easy comeback. I’ve been working my tail off.

“There are guys that have had similar injuries to this like Kyler Murray, Hendon Hooker, who have decided not to play this season. I’m grinding and doing everything I possibly can, and even the fact I’m going out there and practicing. I’m ahead of schedule.”

Rising and Utah coach Kyle Whittingham had been publicly optimistic throughout fall camp that the star quarterback would be ready for the season opener against Florida. That never happened.

Rising was finally given clearance to practice without limitation in early September, but five games into the season, he has yet to appear in a game.

“I’m trying to make sure I can be out there because nobody wants to be out there on the field grinding with those guys more than me, but at the end of the day, it’s my body. My body has to recover.

“I’ve just been focused on continuing to improve. I’m getting closer. I’ve got to keep making the days count. I’ll be back as soon as I’m ready to go, and there’s not really anyone that can say much besides the best doctor in the world, Dr. [Neal] ElAttrache, down in L.A. can say.”

Rising has led Utah to back-to-back Pac-12 titles, and his status has been one of the biggest questions hanging over the sport this season. Whittingham has told reporters the medical clearance on Rising’s return isn’t up to the Utah medical staff.