about a month and a half ago i hyperextended me knee playing football. It popped and hurt for a few minutes but the team needed me so i kept playing and didnt think to much of it. over the next few weeks it had a dull ache but nothing severe. then i started running hard as the preseason for track had me doing intense sprinting workouts. at this point the pain became severe. the trainers here think i may have torn or cracked cartilage, so i guess my main questions are 1. what can i do to not loose strength in my legs while it heals? 2. can that kind of injury heal on its own? 3. if i need surgery, what kind of recovery time should i expect? 4. if i continue to use my legs can i damage my knee further? if anyone can give me some ideas that would be great since the trainers here deal with 1000's of injuries and have not been very clear with me.