Dallas Cowboys

After a nine-week absence, Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne returns

Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) can’t wait to rejoin his teammates in practice after missing nine games with a groin injury.
Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne (24) can’t wait to rejoin his teammates in practice after missing nine games with a groin injury. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

It’s been a long nine weeks for Morris Claiborne, but finally, the Cowboys cornerback is ready for a return to the field. He will do individual drills Thursday, his first appearance with his teammates since his groin injury Oct. 30.

“It definitely has [been a long few weeks],” Claiborne said. “But I’ve been working the whole time, so just waiting. Continue to work to do what I can do to help myself and to help my team. I know the time that I was out, if I hadn’t been doing anything, I wasn’t helping them. Just being able to work, I knew that I was helping those guys even though I’m not on the field.”

Claiborne’s avulsion fracture, where a piece of bone tore off the pelvis, has healed fully. He will ease back into practice Thursday and Friday, and then hopes to return to team drills next week.

“Hopefully we can step it up next week so I can get back to the field,” Claiborne said.

Claiborne, a first-round pick in 2012, has missed 33 of a possible 85 games in his five seasons. A torn patellar tendon in his left knee ended his 2014 season early, keeping him out of the playoffs.

“It’s hard when that’s your teammates out there,” Claiborne said. “Those guys you go to war with, and when you can’t be out there with them, it hurts. But it also motivates you. It also takes you to a place where you almost just do everything in your power to work as hard as you work to get back to those guys and try to prevent it.”

Claiborne had 36 tackles, five pass breakups and one interception in his seven games this season.

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