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Lee discusses injury, rehab, future

By FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM

This article was published July 31, 2014 at 3:06 a.m.

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Sean Lee, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker who will miss the season because of a knee injury, said he isn’t deterred by yet another major injury. “I obviously haven’t shown an ability to stay on the field consistently, but I have shown the ability to come back from injuries and come back better sometimes,” he said.

OXNARD, Calif. -- Sean Lee won't play this season, but he is hoping his presence can somehow help the Dallas Cowboys.

Lee, who is out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, opted to fly with the team to training camp and continue his rehab in California rather than staying back in Texas.

The reason, Lee said, was quite simple.

"When you disconnect, it's hard to stay positive," said Lee, who spoke for the first time since injuring his knee on the first day of OTAs in May.

"Just staying around the guys and going through the process, not only is it going to give me another year of football mentally under my belt, but it's also helping me stay positive."

Lee touched on a variety of topics during his news conference from updating his rehab to being injury prone to his long-term future with the Cowboys:

• On his rehab: Lee said he's been out of a brace for the past three weeks and hopes to begin running in approximately five weeks. For now, Lee is rehabbing about four hours per day with several range-of-motion exercises.

• On having another injury: "When it went, I was frustrated but at the same point I was prepared for it and I know that I can come back from it. I obviously haven't shown an ability to stay on the field consistently, but I have shown the ability to come back from injuries and come back better sometimes. So that's my plan with the rehab."

• On if he asked "Why me?" after suffering the injury: "I don't like that question. The main reason, from an adversity standpoint in the real world, I'm not dealing with much. So for me to sit and pout when there's other people dealing with adversity that's a lot worse, what I call 'real world adversity,' there's no room for that. It only makes you worse. It only makes your rehab slower. On that standpoint, I can't even go there because there's a lot worse out there. I know how to handle this. I know how to come back from this injury. You just have to deal with it. You take it on the chin and you figure it out."

• On his possible replacements: "It's great. It's fun to watch them. If you look at [Justin] Durant last year, I thought that when he was in, he made a lot of plays and was really effective. He also dealt with some injuries last year that kept him out of games. So that's a guy I'm looking forward to, hopefully he can stay healthy, I think he can make a lot of plays for us. Obviously our room and our defense has a lot to prove. We're frustrated with how we played last year and we're motivated. And I think guys are getting better and we have to find a way to be better."

• On talking with rookie Zack Martin on the play when the injury occurred: "If you saw the film and you saw my feet, my right foot slipped ... got caught and it popped. It wasn't his fault at all. If anything he did a good job of not falling. I'm just glad he didn't get hurt because I was going down. I talked to him a little bit right after and said, 'Hey, don't worry about that at all.' "

• On concerns about future business decision by Cowboys: "It's not a stressful situation, but I understand. I have not been out there. They pay me to be out there making plays and helping us win games. If you're injured, you're not out there. So I have to find a way to stay out there, and I get it. I have to come back from this injury and stay healthy. I see it as my back is against the wall a little bit. I understand that, and hopefully I can come back, never be injured again and help this team win football games. But if I'm not doing that, then that's the way it goes. It's a business decision and I would understand that completely."

• On who's supported him outside of football: "My wife, Megan, who has been really supportive. She dealt with this in college. She was my girlfriend in college. She dealt with my right knee and helped me get through it and she helped me with my left knee. That first week is the toughest week when you come out of surgery, so she's waiting on me all day and you can't get around at home. So she's been unbelievable. My parents, and my brother and sister, too. Everybody in my family has been fantastic."

Sports on 07/31/2014

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