IRVING, Texas -- When Anthony Spencer underwent left knee surgery July 25, there was a thought he would miss two to four weeks with a goal of playing in one preseason game and at least participating in the regular-season opener against the New York Giants.
It didn't happen.
Spencer made his debut last week, in the Week 2 game against the Kansas City Chiefs, after only three total practices. He said he was sore after Sunday's game and didn't practice Wednesday.
However, Spencer said he will get days off during the season until his knee feels better.
Team officials described Spencer's knee surgery as minor.
"I have like soft cartilage on the inner side of my knee that's causing [the pain]," Spencer said. "It's not stopping the banging of the bone. It's going to take a little bit more time to heal, and we really don't have time right now."
When you hear about banging of bones in the knee, it raises questions about the long-term health of a player and whether the cartilage is gone. Microfracture surgery is a procedure that creates fractures in the bone to develop new cartilage.
Several current and former NFL players, Reggie Bush, Kellen Winslow, Terrell Davis and Marshall Faulk, among others, have undergone the surgery. The Cowboys wanted former wide receiver Terry Glenn to take a pay cut because his knees were nearing that bone-on-bone phase, which could also lead to microfracture surgery.
The recovery time from microfracture surgery varies.
But Spencer said he doesn't need it.
"It's like a dull pain," he said. "A little bit of weakness. The brace has something to do with it, and I haven't really worn it. I just started running two weeks ago, and that was the most work I've done with that brace on. Just a little pain I haven't had throughout the year."
Spencer said he expects to not only practice this week but also to play in Sunday's game against St. Louis.