A look inside Sean Lee's day

OXNARD, Calif. -- Like the rest of his Dallas Cowboys teammates, Sean Lee's day can become monotonous. Unlike his teammates, it does not include actual football.

Lee is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee suffered in May. He also had a slight meniscus tear repaired during the operation.

What is a typical day for the middle linebacker?

Meetings, rehab. More meetings, more rehab. It's anywhere from 4-6 hours a day in rehab, plus more in meetings.

"I'm spending a lot of time trying to get this leg to work right, which takes time," Lee said. "It's tedious work every single day and that's over eight months and that's really how you come back from it and be effective."

Lee has gone through this rehab before after tearing his right ACL. He knows the peaks and valleys of the rehab process. He no longer needed a brace at the start of July.

"Basically the first phase of it is getting the knee to work right, getting the quad to work right, getting the leg straight extension wise, getting some of the range motion back in your leg and then strengthening it," Lee said. "So I'm in that phase where I'm trying to get a range of motion completely back in all phases and also getting the quad and the leg really strong. I'll probably start to run in a couple of weeks, five weeks from now. From there you kind of just keep working yourself up from jogging to sprinting to agility and then you should be good."

As his teammates practice, Lee remains in the training room.

"I don't think there's a point for me to be out here [on the practice field]," Lee said. "At this point, I can't move around well enough to avoid anything if it comes my way and my main help would be being around at the meetings, being around in between if I need to meet with young guys in case coach [Matt Eberflus] might not be able to. That's where I can help the team in some ways."

Lee said there was no realistic hope of returning this season had the Cowboys not put him on injured reserve.

"I think two reasons it was going to be tough -- I had a couple meniscus repairs and that probably makes the recovery a little bit longer," Lee said. "And I think to say I would be effective after not practicing, or more effective than the guys we have in the room, after 6 1/2 months, I don't think that's realistic. Obviously you hold out hope but I don't think it would be realistic. I think we've got the guys in the room now who can make a lot of plays and be successful this year."