FRISCO, Texas - Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee has returned to practice this week. That's the part that is somewhat clear regarding the veteran who is returning from a sports hernia surgery.
Now, when he will actually play in games still remains to be seen, but getting the pads and a helmet back on is a good start for Lee.
"I don't know how far away," Lee said when asked about playing games. "I know this I'm excited to practice and the hope is that once I start practicing I can feel great, I can get into game shape and then help any way that I can. I'm excited to get back and get to practice. I didn't have a (training) camp, I didn't have any of that. So I've been waiting to put the helmet on, put the pads on in practice. So hopefully sooner than later but I've got to go through the process still."
Lee was rather specific in talking on his conference call regarding the early-September surgery, which he described as a "core muscle" procedure that reattached the abdomen to the pelvic bone.
"The first couple of weeks were hard but the last couple of weeks I've made a lot of jumps and I feel great," Lee said. "Depending on what the Britt (Brown) and the trainers want me to do but the hope is to get some (individual) work in and some scout team."
Lee, a 10-year veteran, is coming off his only season of his career in which he played in all 16 games. He decided to return for an 11th season, but once again, the injury bug popped up for Lee, who has missed a total of 42 games in his career.
So this isn't the first time he's missed games, but as always, Lee said he has tried his best to stay engaged with the action.
"I've tried to be and have been in every meeting, at every walkthrough, at the practice, trying to watch the film and no question like anytime you transition from one defense to the next, it takes time from an experience standpoint," Lee said. "You try to get ahead of things. You study, You watch the film. You watch the film of former defenses. You're constantly visualizing different things so I've tried to help in any way I can. I've played some similar things in the past a long time ago but I've tried to work with all the guys. We have a lot of smart guys on the defense and together we've really tried to help with this transition."
So far, the Cowboys haven't made a smooth transition on defense, ranking last in points allowed (36.3).
Having Lee return to the mix, even if it's at practice, should be a help.