Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant made his first appearance on the practice field Thursday since fracturing a bone in his foot in the season opener.
Bryant did rehab work on the cords with athletic trainer Britt Brown, fostering hope he might be able to return for the Oct. 25 game at the New York Giants.
Bryant made no guarantees while walking through the locker room after practice, saying his primary focus is on getting healthy.
“I’m getting back. I’m getting right,” Bryant said. “If it’s the Giants, it’s the Giants.”
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Bryant has missed the past four games since undergoing surgery Sept. 14. It was always expected to be a six-week recovery period.
That timetable puts his return right at the Giants game.
In an effort to hasten the healing process, Bryant underwent a procedure last week that took stem cells from his hip and injected them in his foot.
Coach Jason Garrett said Bryant would have to practice with the team before he could play against the Giants.
“Yeah, like with any injury you certainly want to see a guy out there on the practice field,” Garrett said. “You want to be able to test it on the practice field and see how he responds physically to the work. There are different kinds of injuries but certainly his would be one where you want to see him on the practice field running around and see how he handles it.”
That could come next Wednesday when the Cowboys return to practice after this week’s bye. They have Friday and Monday off. Tuesday will be more of a walk-through workout.
“Yeah, he’s making progress,” Garrett said. “He’s going through his rehab and he’s been out on the field a little bit but he’s really just taking it day by day. We’ll see how he responds to the work going forward.
“The bone has to heal. It’s the kind of injury that the bone has to heal. Him being a tough guy doesn’t really matter in this situation. It’s a medical decision and he’s certainly going to give himself every chance to go out there and play.”
The Cowboys are 1-3 in Bryant’s absence and are on a three-game losing streak.
Wide receiver Terrance Williams says he talks to Bryant nightly by phone and says he is eager to return.
“He can’t wait to get back to play,” Williams said. “I think whenever he does come back, he’ll bring a spark.”
▪ Linebacker Sean Lee returned to practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with an illness.
▪ Carnival’s Ultimate Cowboys Fan Fest will be held from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Freeway in Dallas. Country star Trace Adkins will host a free concert and former Cowboys great Darren Woodson will serve as emcee. The Cowboys Cheerleaders, drumline and Rowdy the mascot will attend. For more information and to register for a free ticket, visit the Cowboys Fan Fest website.