Chicago Bears coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday it's "a little early" to cast predictions on the potential return of receiver Johnny Knox, who continues to rehabilitate from a serious back injury suffered in December.

"It would be hard for me to go into that right there," Smith said from the NFL owners meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. "Are you a religious man? Do you talk to God? He can probably tell you. Besides that, it's going to be pretty hard."

The latest speculation has anonymous sources saying the receiver likely would start the 2012 season on the physically-unable-to-perform list. Although several doctors have predicted at least a six-month rehabilitation process for Knox, Smith said that was premature.

"Doctors know?" Smith asked. "Give me his number and I'll call him as soon as we stop talking. I just know that Johnny is working hard each day. He has made a lot of progress. That's all we want, for Johnny to keep rehabbing, which is what he's doing. It's amazing how people are already diagnosing when he's coming back."

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