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May 16, 2014

Spencer understands it's going to be difficult -- 'a rarity' -- for him to come back from microfracture surgery

Anthony Spencer admits it’s going to be tough for him to come back from microfracture surgery and be the player he was two years ago.

“This injury is really uncommon. You rarely see guys coming back from it,” he said Friday at Valley Ranch. “So I’m really not looking at any type of timetable. I’m just on my body schedule. Wherever my body is, that’s where I am.”

Spencer had the procedure on his knee last October, shortly after he played in one game following arthroscopic surgery that summer at the start of training camp. The microfracture surgery aims to repair cartilage that cushions the area where bones meet. Last year, Spencer said he had pain from “bone-to-bone” contact.

“I’ve done a lot of research and reading on it. It is what it is,” he said. “You just got to take it for what it is and build on it.”

The National Institutes of Health web site says recovery can take four to six months and that athletes in “intense sports” might not be able to return to their previous level.

Spencer said he puts all that out of his mind.

“I try not to push it too much, try not to be too far or go too far in front of it where it is,” he said. “I mean, it’s a process. I’m learning how to gauge it, what I can do and what I can’t do. The more I can do, the more I can do the next day. It’s getting better.”

Two years ago, Spencer had his best season with a career-high 11 sacks and a career- and team-high 106 tackles. The Cowboys franchised him and had high hopes, but the knee problem developed in the days leading up to training camp and he played in only one game, Week 2 at Kansas City.

“I watch myself and watch the film to try to get back to where I was at that time,” Spencer said, asked if he believes he can return to his 2011 and 2012 level. “Right now, I’m far from being at that place. I‘m just doing what I can to get back to that spot. I think it’s possible. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be here.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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