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Preseason Injury Cost Bernadeau In 2011

Not that there is ever a good time for an injury or surgery, and in the grand scheme of things, the middle of May isn't awful, but Mackenzy Bernadeau would probably prefer it if the timeline for his recovery this summer were different.

If he is out for a full three months, which is more likely than the shorter timetable of two months, Bernadeau will miss most, if not all, of training camp in Oxnard, Calif., and likely the Cowboys' first two preseason games. Not only will he need time for his surgically-repaired hip to recover, but it's unlikely he'll be in playing shape after such a long layoff, which could ultimately force the Cowboys to begin the season with another starter at guard.

Ironically, a similar scenario played out in Bernadeau's last year with the Carolina Panthers.

A starter for 12 games in 2010, Bernadeau played well enough that the Panthers had all but penciled him in to start last season. He ran with the first-team offense at right guard in the club's first three preseason games, but a bout with turf toe sidelined him for the end of the exhibition schedule. The club inserted backup Garry Williams into the starting lineup, but he suffered a season-ending injury of his own.

With Bernadeau still hobbled, the Panthers had to look outside the organization for help at the guard position, and signed veteran Geoff Hangartner on Sept. 5, only a week before the regular season began. Hangartner played well, and stole the job from Bernadeau, who would go on to start only one game all season, replacing an injured Travelle Wharton at left guard against the Falcons in Week 14.

"Nothing helps you more than experience, just getting as much playing time as you can," Bernadeau said in March. "It's unfortunate, I didn't start as many games as I wanted to this last year. But that's part of the business, if you go down early somebody steps in and you have a chance to lose your spot."

Likely sidelined for the next 12 weeks or so, Bernadeau could be in danger of having the same thing happen to him again.

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