TEMPE, Ariz. -- Tyrann Mathieu is getting better.
The Arizona Cardinals safety who tore the ACL and LCL in his left knee while returning a kick during a Week 14 win over the St. Louis Rams on Dec. 8 is working his way back -- slowly.
"It's a long process and it's going to continue to be a long process," he said after the Cardinals had their first minicamp practice Tuesday. "I just try to come to work every day, stay on top of my rehab and just continue to push myself.
"I don't try to get too down about it, I don't try to get too up, too excited [when] my knee's feeling good. I just take it as it comes."
Mathieu's recovery is one of the most interesting and pressing storylines of the offseason. A key member of the team's defense last season, the former third-round pick out of LSU finished fourth on the team with 68 total tackles while also intercepting two passes, earning a quarterback sack and forcing a fumble.
He did all that in roughly 13 games.
Assuming he can get back to full strength before the regular season begins, the secondary figures to be a strength for the team.
But there's still a long way to go before the Week 1 opener against the San Diego Chargers, just as there is a long way to go before Mathieu will be back on the field looking to make plays.
For now it's all about just getting better and reaching the next plateau.
"Put that helmet on, do some drills with the guys," he said. "I think that will be the next step for me, the next big step for me."