Can Dez Bryant return sooner?

August, 2, 2010
8/02/10
10:53
AM ET
SAN ANTONIO -- Cowboys officials say rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant's right high-ankle sprain is a four-to-six week injury.

[+] EnlargeDez Bryant
AP Photo/Eric GayDez Bryant is in a walking boot while recovering from a high-ankle sprain, but he can still sign autographs.
Bryant's goal is to come back possibly for the last preseason game vs. the Dolphins on Sept. 2.

But Jerry Jones is hopeful the 21-year old can return sooner.

"Hope he’ll get back quicker than the estimate of when he would be back," Jones said. "There is always that chance. He's a young guy. You can play with this at a certain level, I'm talking about with a high ankle, and you just don’t ever get well. Players play all the time with some high-ankle issues, but they're not at their tops and it's not the right way to go into hopefully a 23-to-24 game season, so we want him to get it back as well as he can."

Bryant is expected to wear a walking boot to help with the swelling for about 10 days. After it comes off, he might be ready for some jogging. There is really no way to tell how fast Bryant will heal. The Cowboys have seen enough of him to know he's a special talent, but don't want to rush his return to the field.

"We really don’t have a good read on that," Jones said. "It's as standard as it can get as far as the injury itself is concerned. What we want to do is probably take a better read about 10 days out, and he's a young guy and you give the norm on those things and those things have a way of doing better than that as far as getting back out of course."

He could miss the entire preseason and be ready for the season opener, and if that happens, it's not a bad thing. Tony Romo said he has a nice comfort level with Bryant and hopes to build on that down the line.

As far as the playbook goes, Bryant is checking out plays and what he should do during practices with receivers coach Ray Sherman.

Of course, if there are any setbacks, Bryant might not return until some time in September.

"What’s critical here is if you could get [the ankle healed] and get back a little bit quicker and you can get a couple of preseason games in, but that’s guessing. No, that’s praying and being optimistic," Jones said.
Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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