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Claiborne Could Return Next Week From MCL Sprain

OXNARD, Calif. -- When Morris Claiborne woke up Thursday morning, he said he could hardly walk. He was relieved to find out the left knee injury he suffered Wednesday was only a sprained MCL.

Claiborne sat out the majority of Friday's practice, including the team session, before getting an MRI that revealed no major structural damage.

"I still can't remember when I did it," Claiborne said. "I don't know if my adrenaline was just pumping like that where I couldn't tell when I did it. When I woke up the next morning, I really felt it."

He said he thinks he'll be ready to return in a week and hopes to play in the Cowboys' first preseason game Aug. 13 at Oakland. The cornerback already missed time before training camp recovering from wrist surgery after being selected as the No. 6 player in the NFL Draft.

Claiborne said he's frustrated and disappointed about missing more practice time, but he knows it's an injury he can return from quickly if he concentrates on his rehab.

"A lot of people don't realize I haven't played football in at least four months," Claiborne said. "I'm just coming back out here getting used to the cutting and all that stuff."

Defensive backs coach Jerome Henderson said the injury is an obvious negative to the team, but other members of the secondary get a chance to stand out. Claiborne stood next to Henderson watching the defensive backs throughout Saturday's walkthrough.

While the Cowboys' top pick won't practice for at least a few days, head coach Jason Garrett's not worried Claiborne will straggle far behind.

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