Injuries Piling Up; Top Rookies Still Missing

As the Cowboys returned to the practice field for the start of the three-day minicamp, a healthy amount of players remain sideline with various injuries.

While it be alarming to some, it's still mid-June. Training camp is more than five week away and the start of the regular season isn't for another three months.

The Cowboys will continue to be patient with all of the injured players, particularly the rookies who have been out for most of the summer.

The first minicamp practice wasn't much different than the OTAs, in terms of the top draft picks. Again, the first five picks all missed action, four because of injuries. First-round pick Morris Claiborne continues to rehab his wrist injury. Although he said last month he figured to be ready for the minicamp, he continued to work on conditioning drills.

Third-round pick Tyrone Crawford appears to be getting close to a full recovery from a calf strain, but remained on the side fields. And the same goes for fourth-round pick Kyle Wilber, who suffered a broken finger in the rookie minicamp.

Fifth-round pick Danny Coale is about a month removed from a broken foot injury. He's out of a walking boot and was able to catch a few passes and light jogging on Tuesday.

Fourth-rounder Matt Johnson hasn't been able to practice since the rookie minicamp because the finals at Eastern Washington have yet to conclude. Johnson could be able to practice on Thursday.

Other injuries of note:

· DE Marcus Spears returned from a neck strain that kept him out for the majority of the OTAs.

· RB Felix Jones continued to rehab his shoulder injury. It's likely he will be ready for the first training camp practice in late July.

· LB Bruce Carter was held out at the end of Tuesday's practice with some tightness in his hamstring.

· QB Kyle Orton sat out most of practice with a hamstring strain.

· DT Jay Ratliff hasn't practiced much this summer, still ailing from plantar fasciitis in his foot.

· S Gerald Sensabaugh was held out last week because of a minor knee issue, but still didn't practice on Tuesday.

· LB Dan Connor continues to miss some work with a shoulder injury.

· Second-year C/G Kevin Kowalski was in a walking boot because of a right foot injury.

·         G Mackenzy Bernadeau said he still plans on returning for the start of training camp, but hasn't participated much this summer after undergoing hip surgery.

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