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Paterno expects to be well soon

Joe Paterno says he's in a little pain after a blindside hit in practice sent him to the hospital, though Penn State's 84-year-old leader expects to coach from the sideline for the season opener.

The Hall of Fame coach spoke from a golf cart before practice Tuesday, a week after being released from the hospital following the hit Aug. 7 from receiver Devon Smith. Paterno hurt his right shoulder and pelvis, though he said Tuesday he did not suffer any fractures.

"I feel great, except I'm in a little pain," said Paterno, who didn't leave the cart for the first 30 minutes of practice open to media. "If I told you I could get up and around here I can't, but in about eight or nine days I should be able to do everything without having some guy [driving] me around, telling me what to look at."

It was Paterno's first appearance before reporters since the accidental collision at the Holuba Hall indoor practice field, not far from the spot where major college football's winningest coach (401 victories) spoke Tuesday. His right arm was out of a sling.

"We laughed about it the other day," said Smith, the 5-foot-7 receiver who was running a corner route when he crashed into Paterno. "I apologized and he said, 'It's just football. That's what it is.' "

Paterno equally shrugged off a question Tuesday about what effect his latest injury might have on his coaching future -- and he offered no hints that he was thinking about stepping away any time soon.

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