IRVING -- Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo still has not been cleared to play Monday night against the Washington Redskins, nor will he guarantee his presence in the game.
But he hopes to play against the undefeated Redskins (2-0) and has passed a crucial test to get back on the field after suffering a fractured rib and punctured lung in Sunday's comeback victory at San Francisco.
A CT scan showed the lung puncture has resolved and is healed.
Now it's a matter of how much pain Romo can handle and if it's medically safe to play.
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"I don't think we can say anything 100 percent right now," Romo said. "But if it's just about the pain side of it, I think we'll be good to go. I'm obviously planning mentally on going out there."
While Romo hasn't practiced this week, he has been on the field with his teammates the past couple of days. He has done some light throwing with a vest fitted by the equipment staff to protect his ribs.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says Romo has looked better the past couple of days, and he is hopeful Romo will play on Monday. If he can't, the Cowboys are confident in backup Jon Kitna.
"I don't think he's exactly himself, but we are certainly taking precautions," Garrett said. "It was a serious injury he had the other day and he did a good job fighting through it. We just have to manage it going forward, and we'll do that on a day-to-day basis."
For Romo, the pain from the fractured rib remains intense and will likely linger for weeks. He has spent 14 to 15 hours a day at Valley Ranch headquarters this week in meetings and getting treatment, and still sleeps in a recliner because he can't get in a bed.
"Some things are a little better with the lung aspect of it," said Romo. "It just depends on the situation, what position you're in. It's a different variable for each situation. That's just part of the process."
Romo didn't take a pain killing injection last Sunday and doesn't know if he will do so this week to get back on the field.
"The doctors and training staff have talked extensively with me about the whole situation and what everything entails," Romo said. "When you have an injury stuff can happen. That's part of playing. You heal up a wound, a scab goes over it and you can open it up again. "
Romo said he is not worried about the Redskins targeting his ribs, as cornerback DeAngelo Hall claimed they would.
"That's what people do," Romo said. "That's part of playing football. If they're able to get a clean shot on my ribs consistently throughout the game, then we're probably not doing that well anyway. I'm sure I'll target whoever's targeting my ribs in the passing game. If he's blitzing, that means he's not covering. So we'll attack the guy he's covering."
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760