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Witten Focused On Healing; But Still Eying “Giant” Opener
OXNARD, Calif. – While Cowboys fans, players, coaches and everyone else might have uttered a different two-word answer when learning of Jason Witten’s lacerated spleen injury, the seven-time Pro Bowler had a different response.
That’s the only thing Witten wanted to know when it came to the serious injury he suffered against the Raiders on Monday that will likely keep him out all of the preseason and has his availability for the Giants game on Sept. 5 in question.
Speaking to the media on Thursday for the first time since the injury, Witten said his focus remains on getting healthy, rehabbing the injury and of course, being ready for the Giants.
“Right now I’m doing alright,” Witten said wearing his No. 82 jersey although he only watched the Thursday morning walk-through practice. “I’m just going to take it a day at a time. Obviously, I’d be hard-pressed to imagine not being out there against the Giants. But there’s no timetable right now.”
Witten has been advised to rest for about 7-10 days, something the Pro Bowl tight end said will be a problem in itself.
“It’s hard … just thinking about sitting in that hotel when the team is working,” Witten said. “It’s a challenge. Ultimately it’s the best thing you can do for the team. We’ve got plenty of guys to pick up the slack. That’s not a concern. For me, I think it’s just get healthy as quickly as you can. We’ll regroup when we get back to Dallas.”
Coach Jason Garrett has already ruled Witten out for the next two preseason games – Saturday’s second game in San Diego and the Aug. 25 home game against St. Louis. Considering the starters rarely play at all in the preseason finale, it’s all but certain Witten will not play again until the Giants game at the earliest.
Of course, that will all depend on how the laceration heals and of course, Witten’s level of pain, something he admits is pretty constant.
“Yeah you feel it in there. I’ve had a broken rib before, it’s a similar pain you feel,” Witten said. “The pain isn’t’ too bad. I can get around and walk around. I just have to remind myself to rest and not to get ahead of it and stay positive. Again, we’re looking at that first game and trying to stay positive from that standpoint.”
Witten also agreed when a reporter asked if he “dodged a bullet” in the injury could be even worse, possibly resulting in a surgery that would’ve ended his season.
“Yeah absolutely. I’m staying positive with it,” Witten said. “It could’ve been a lot worse. So it’s the biggest part right now is resting and trying to let that heal up. The training staff has done a good job allowing me to do that. It’s hard to be out of practice. It’s the thing we’ve got to do. I’m fortunate and thankful that it’s minimal damage right now.”