Friday, June 11, 2010
Cowboys' Bryant, Brooking at minicamp
By Tim MacMahon
IRVING, Texas -- Rookie receiver Dez Bryant and veteran linebacker Keith Brooking declared themselves healthy enough to return to action on the first day of the Dallas Cowboys' three-day minicamp on Wednesday.
Bryant, the Cowboys' first-round pick, felt soreness in his hamstring during the early portion of Tuesday's voluntary workout and hasn't practiced since. He has done conditioning drills on the side with associate athletic trainer Britt Brown while his teammates practiced.
Brooking practiced with his teammates for the first time since undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee six weeks ago.
Brown put Bryant through a strenuous workout with resistance chords Friday morning, a test to determined whether he could participate in the rest of the minicamp.
"I feel 100 percent," Bryant said. "I'll be ready to go this afternoon."
Bryant has dealt with a variety of ailments since missing most of last season at Oklahoma State due to an NCAA suspension. His hamstring bothered him during the pre-draft process, leading him to push back his pro day. He has had a twisted ankle, sore hip, stomach virus and sore hamstring since the beginning of the Cowboys' rookie minicamp last month.
"I just feel like it's all part of football," Bryant said. "I'm going to get my injuries taken care of and get back and join my teammates. I'm just ready to get back to practice."
The operation was the third on Brooking's left knee during his 13-year NFL career. He described it as a minor procedure to clean out some "floaters" under his kneecap and said he probably would have only missed one game if he had the procedure during the season.
"My knee felt better than it's felt in a really long time, so that's really positive," Brooking said. "The one thing I was concerned about was just explosiveness, having my legs underneath me, because I haven't done the football, metabolic stuff in so long. But my legs felt great. I felt strong, I felt quick. I was very pleased with the day."
The Cowboys are exercising caution with Brooking, which is why he missed all of organized team activities. The plan is for him to only practice once per day during the minicamp, which has morning and afternoon practices scheduled the first two days.
"Maybe I can talk them into it from now to [afternoon] practice, but I don't think the chances are very good," Brooking said with a smile. "I've been lobbying a little bit for it, and I haven't gotten a very good response."
Tim MacMahon covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com You can follow him on Twitter.