IRVING, Texas – Anthony Spencer isn't ready to practice, but he's still confident in his availability for the season opener.
It's been roughly three weeks since Spencer underwent surgery on his left knee, and he said he's feeling better about the progress he's making toward a return. Spencer said earlier in the preseason he planned to be available for the first regular season game, and he hasn't changed that mindset to this point.
"I mean, I want it to go faster, but I'm dealing with it. It's going, it's healing – as long as it feels better each day I can't complain," said. "We've still got two, three weeks left, so yeah."
Spencer has been a regular at team practices during training camp, although he obviously hasn't been a participant. The 2012 Pro Bowler said his most important work is in the weight room right now, where he is steadily regaining strength in the knee.
"The more strength I build up, the more stuff I'm able to do in the weight room -- it's making me be able to walk a little strong and feel less pain each day. So it's getting better," he said.
That's coming slowly but surely to this point. Spencer said he isn't yet able to run, but he is able to work in various ways in the Cowboys' weight room – including weight lifting.
"I lift -- I'm able to lift on it a little bit, get on the bike and then I do the elliptical or whatnot for a little while. I'm trying to stay a little bit conditioned," he said.
Of course, the difference between weight work and actual football is a vast one. Spencer said he will still need time to translate his progress to the field. Though he doesn't yet have a timetable for a return, he does know what will be required before he can put pads back on.
"Just being able to push up against another person, being able to move laterally and just be able to play football, basically," he said. "But I'm going to have to be good on the field – the weight room is just building up the strength so I'm able to do stuff on the field. On the field is where it's going to be seen or not."
When that will happen remains to be seen, but Spencer remained optimistic it would be in time to play against New York. Asked if his timetable had changed regarding the season opener, Spencer replied, "No, not in my mind."