By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Oxnard, Ca._ Typical Jason Witten.
When initially told that he lacerated his spleen in Monday's 3-0 loss to the Raiders, the seven-time Pro Bowler _ who has played with a fractured jaw, broken ribs and has ran without his helmet _ only wanted to know "How long?" he would be out.
But once he understood the severity of the situation, Witten admitted concern that he might be out for the season.
"I was little worried about how long it could be initially when they told me," said Witten, who talked to reporters after practice on Thursday. "When they said no surgery that was a positive sign that it could be sooner rather than later. Yeah, I was concerned but I got good news from that stand point."
For the record surgery has not been ruled out, it has just been tabled as the doctors want Witten to rest for ten days and see if the spleen will heal on its own.
"We are not there yet," Witten said regarding possible surgery. "It's one day at a time. We are monitoring it one day at a time. The plan is to rest and allow it to heal the best it can to stay away from that situation."
Witten will be sidelined for the rest of the preseason and remains hopeful and positive that he will be return for the Sept. 5 season opener against the New York Giants. He remains in a lot of pain and admits it hurts just to get out of bed.
“Right now I’m doing alright,” Witten said. “I’m just going to take it a day at a time. Obviously, I’d be hard-pressed to imagine not being out there against the Giants. But there’s no timetable right now. I'm going to be positive and think that can be achieved. That process will handle itself. We are going to be smart. At the same time, I'm going to prepare myself mentally that way."
Witten acknowledges that he is lucky, possibly even dodging a bullet as far the severity of the injury and the timing _ considering that it happened in the first preseason game rather than in middle of the season when he could missed a few games.
"Absolutely," Witten responded when asked if dodged a bullet. "It could have been a lot worse.
"I'm fortunate it is minimal damage as it can be right now. I'm thankful it happened now in the preseason rather than later in the season and have to miss games. It's a challenge. But rest is the only answer."
Witten has started in 132 of the last 133 games as a Cowboy, missing one game after breaking his jaw as a rookie in 2003.