The starting defensive end will return to DFW to undergo surgery on his left knee Thursday. He expects to miss three weeks.
“I’m ready just to get it fixed and move on and start healing,” Spencer said Tuesday.
Spencer has been bothered by the knee since the team's OTAs in May and sat out the minicamp last month in hopes rest would heal it. But Spencer experienced more pain in his knee during the team's conditioning test Saturday.
An MRI confirmed a bone bruise, and doctors have advised minor surgery.
Spencer had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Aug. 20, 2008, and missed one regular-season game while rehabbing and then injured his hamstring and missed three more games. But Spencer is more worried about missing practice time than game time this year.
He vows to be back for the first game but wishes he had more time to prepare for the team’s transition from the 3-4 to the 4-3, prompting a move for him from outside linebacker to defensive end.
“There’s only one way to get really in football shape, to become better at your craft and that’s just by doing it, so I definitely feel a little bit behind,” Spencer said. “I’m definitely going to be trying to get back as fast as I can.”
The Cowboys are not concerned about Spencer, who is entering his seventh season. He had his best season in 2012, with 11 sacks and 26 quarterback pressures.
The Cowboys used the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive season, guaranteeing him $10.6 million.
-- Charean Williams