Sean Lee to hang around team, help out

IRVING, Texas -- As Sean Lee walked to the bus last Sunday at Carolina, he expressed hope that he would be able to play this week against the New York Giants. On Tuesday, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker learned he needed season-ending toe surgery.

“I didn’t think it was going to be great because it got worse and worse as I got out of the game, but I didn’t think it was going to something that I’d be out for the rest of the season,” Lee said.

“Especially with the way it happened, a fluke play where trying to make a tackle, their tight end lands on my foot as I’m driving, falls over the pile, bends my toe all the way back to my foot. One of those things where you’re trying to make a tackle and can’t really avoid it, so it’s frustrating in the sense that your toe could keep you out a whole year.”

Lee is scheduled to have surgery next week on a torn plantar plate and will need 3-4 months of rehab. Felix Jones and Kevin Ogletree had the same surgeries and have been able to return without any lingering issues.

“The good positive thing about this injury is I am not going to be working back to where I was,” Lee said. “It’s just come January or February I will be in the offseason program. I will be able to try to improve and get better.”

Lee plans on being around the team as much as possible to help replacements Bruce Carter and Dan Connor. The Cowboys will consider taking him on road trips once he is well enough.

“If I disconnect, I’m not part of the team at all,” Lee said. “If I can help in any small way, it’s still helping. I believe this defense is going to continue to get better and that’s the thing I want -- to be a part of it. We’ve got so many talented, high character guys on defense and, to be honest, I’m so excited to see Bruce Carter and Dan Connor play because those guys got better and better and better and are ready to step up. I believe this defense is going to continue to get better.”

Lee missed one game last year with a dislocated left wrist and needed a cast for most of the rest of the season. He missed two games in 2010 with a hamstring injury. And part of the reason why he fell to the second round of the draft was concern over a knee injury suffered at Penn State that ended his 2008 season and forced him out of three games in 2009.

“Coming here, I’ve wanted to stay on the field,” Lee said. “Even though I’ve had some injuries, I think I did a pretty good job. I was able to play through an injury last year. Even though I had a cast on, I still felt like I played at a high level. ... This is something, I think going forward, I need to be on the field and I want to be on the field.”