Petrino, speaking for the first time since his Sunday night accident, arrived at Razorback Stadium wearing a neck brace and with multiple scrapes and red spots showing on his nose and face.
The 51-year-old said he was not wearing a helmet at the time of the crash, which occurred on Arkansas Highway 16 in Madison County - about 20 miles southeast of Fayetteville. State law does not require an adult rider wear a helmet, but Petrino said he plans to wear one in the future.
Petrino, an avid motorcycle enthusiast, said he noticed the sun in his eyes moments before the accident. He also said he broke four ribs in his upper chest and cracked the outside of the C-2 vertebra in his back.
"I'm very fortunate," Petrino said. "I feel very lucky to be here and be in good health."
Petrino was released from the hospital late Tuesday morning before heading to work for the start of Arkansas' already scheduled spring practice. He spoke to the media and answered questions briefly before heading to the press box to observe practice, which his doctors cleared him to do.
He said he was returning home after an evening ride on a scenic road, a favorite of area motorcycle riders. He also said he had ridden in the area before.
"I remember coming around the curve, I was noticing the sun was going to be in my eyes the rest of the way home," Petrino said. "And then there got to a point where I was not going to be able to maneuver the turn.
"It seemed like 15 seconds where I said, 'Oh no, here I go.'"
State police spokesman Bill Sadler said Tuesday that Petrino's accident report wasn't ready to be released yet, but Petrino said he ended up in the ditch following the crash. Petrino said a passing car was waiting when he climbed from the ditch and took him to meet his state police escort before the two went the rest of the way to the hospital.
Petrino said he "absolutely" had no alcohol on Sunday and that he spent the day with his wife, Becky, at the lake.
"It's something that really puts a scare in you," Petrino said. "I can't say that I'm not going to ride a motorcycle again because I might do that. The ironic thing is we were sitting there in the kitchen, Becky and I, and I had two helmets out. I said, 'This one's going to be really heavy and hot, and then this one makes me look like a cone head. I think I'll just go with the hat.'
"Obviously, bad call. We wouldn't have converted the third down."
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
Update from Jeff Long regarding Coach Petrino
“Coach Petrino has continued to improve and is scheduled to be released from the hospital later this (Tuesday) morning. Doctors have cleared Coach Petrino to attend practice on Tuesday and observe from the press box. His physicians will continue to monitor his progress throughout his recovery. We look forward to Coach Petrino’s continued improvement and full resumption of his duties as head football coach. I want to thank all of those who have kept Coach Petrino and his family in their thoughts and expressed their well wishes for the entire Razorback program.”
Arkansas returns to the practice field on Tuesday afternoon for spring practice at Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe says Bobby Petrino sounded "upbeat" when they spoke after the Razorbacks coach was injured in a motorcycle crash.
Beebe told reporters Tuesday that he talked to Petrino on the telephone and that he was encouraged by the call. The governor declined to elaborate on their conversation, noting that Petrino is "a very private person."
Arkansas State Police say Petrino was injured Sunday when he crashed his motorcycle on Arkansas Highway 16 in Madison County. The university says Petrino is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
©2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.