Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy believes star quarterback Aaron Rodgers is ready to return from injury but the decision is not up to him.
Rodgers, 34, has been sidelined since suffering a broken collarbone in October's 23-10 NFL loss to the Minnesota Vikings.
Packers physician Dr. Pat McKenzie and other medical experts will determine whether Rodgers is ready to take the field after missing the last eight weeks.
"In his mind, he's ready to go, if you watch him practice and the conversations with him," McCarthy told reporters on Monday. "But this is a medical decision.
"It is now in the evaluation stage. There's a number of medical opinions that will be involved in the decision. At this time, I do not have a clean decision for you or an update. That's where it stands."
"Hey, it's a process," McCarthy added. "They're evaluating and hopefully we will have a decision as soon as we can. At the end of the day, the organisation is focused on doing what's in the best interests of Aaron Rodgers' health."
The Packers (7-6) have gone 3-5 since Rodgers was injured on the second offensive series of a loss to the Vikings on October 15.
Green Bay placed him on injured reserve with the designation to return. He is eligible to return this week as the Packers prepare to face the Carolina Panthers (9-4) in a key NFC contest that has playoff implications.
Rodgers threw for 1,385 yards with 13 touchdowns and three interceptions before his injury. The two-time NFL MVP could give the Packers the boost they need to reach the postseason for a ninth consecutive campaign.
McCarthy and his coaching staff will begin game-planning for the Panthers on Tuesday and McCarthy would love to know if he will have his starting quarterback available.
"If I don't know [Tuesday], we're going to be putting Pat McKenzie on IR," McCarthy joked.