IRVING, Texas – The problematic left knee of Dallas Cowboys Pro Bowl defensive end Anthony Spencer may require season-ending microfracture surgery, team owner Jerry Jones revealed on Tuesday morning.
“It’s a real setback,” Jones told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas. “It could be out for the season.”
Spencer sat out much of training camp with what was diagnosed as a “bone bruise” but is essentially a small fracture of a bone on his knee. He underwent knee surgery July 25, but that was to clean up loose bodies, not necessarily to correct the problem, which sources said then could only be corrected by at least six weeks of rest.
Spencer got some of that rest while sitting out most workouts leading up to Dallas’ Week 2 game in Kansas City, in which he played. Cowboys staffers acknowledge he suffered a “setback” late last week that kept him from playing in Sunday’s Week 3 win over the Rams.
As recently as Monday, coach Jason Garrett termed a possible quick and healthy return as “realistic.”
“It’s a long season,” said Garrett, who has been starting summer free-agent signee George Selvie in Spencer’s place.. “You just keep banging away and keep trying to get better each and every day and week by week, and hopefully he will be healthy and ready to roll.”
It is not known whether the planned surgery mentioned by Jones is directly related to the original problem – the bone bruise – or whether surgery (microfracture or otherwise) is about correcting an additional problem.
Spencer missed two games last season with a shoulder injury and still had a career-best 11 sacks with 106 tackles. The Cowboys franchise-tagged him this season, so he will be with Dallas making $10.6 million for the year before entering free agency at age 30 this offseason.