Cameron Rising was incredibly candid on Thursday during a weekly hit with Bill Riley on ESPN700, saying that he didn’t just tear a ligament in his knee in Utah’s Rose Bowl loss back in January. The injury that has kept Rising sidelined for each of Utah’s first five games of the 2023 season was much more serious.

“Wasn’t really expecting to do this but I think it’s just kind of important that I let everybody know. I didn’t just tear my ACL. I tore my ACL, meniscus, MPFL, and MCL. It was a big surgery, and it’s not an easy comeback,” Rising told Riley on Thursday.

Utah has been without its captain and, each week, coach Kyle Whittingham has grown increasingly frustrated with that fact. Utah expressed optimism in the offseason Rising would be ready to go for the opener against Florida on Aug. 31. Whittingham has repeated the same line for weeks since — they have been hopeful to get him back and it hasn’t yet happened.

With the Utes on their bye week this week, it’s possible the Utes benefit from the off week and get their quarterback on the field against Cal on Oct. 14.

Rising said he has consulted with only one doctor — the one who did his procedure, Dr. Neal ElAttrache — and that doctor has the final say in when he can return to the field.

“You have to ask his doctor,” Whittingham told reporters on Tuesday, per KSL, when asked what specifically is keeping Rising out of games.

While he has missed time, Utah’s offense has struggled. The Utes are down to 128th nationally in per-play efficiency, averaging just 4.6 yards per play. In the first loss of the season last Friday, Utah was held to just seven points in what was the worst offensive day for the program since 2018.

There is frustration everywhere.

“I’ve been working my tail off,” Rising said. “There’s guys that have similar injuries to this, such as Kyler Murray and Hendon Hooker, who have decided not to play this season. I’m grinding and doing everything I possibly can, and even the fact that I’m going out there and practicing and everything, I’m ahead of schedule.”

With Bryson Barnes injured in the Oregon State loss, Utah’s quarterback depth is dwindling behind Rising. Whittingham told reporters on Tuesday that Utah will seek to have an answer on Rising’s availability early in the week leading up to Cal as opposed to later in the week, per KSL.

If Rising is still unavailable, the Utes might have to make Brandon Rose — who hasn’t played this year after suffering an injury in camp — available as an emergency backup.

“I know I’m getting closer,” Rising said. “… I’m doing everything I possibly can to make sure I’m improving.

“At some point, your body has to heal the way it has to heal. It’s unfortunate that— and not exactly the way I expected this season to go, but it’s just the cards I’ve been dealt and that’s just what I’ve got to play.”

Listen to “Conversation with Cam: Cam Rising recaps Oregon State loss and addresses his health” on Spreaker.