When Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant broke his foot early this season, others who had similar injuries warned him of coming back too soon.
But now that he’s recovering from a second surgery on the same foot, he admits he wasn’t right all year after coming backs five weeks later.
“After I broke my foot and tried to come back, I knew I wasn’t [right],” Bryant said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “But at the same time, I knew what was at stake. I thought I could potentially perform at a high level despite dealing with this foot. It turned out very unfortunate.
“I knew exactly what I was dealing with when I chose to come back. It didn’t work out as planned. I’m taking it for whatever it is. I’m just ready to train. I’m ready to get back, ready to get back 100 percent to do what I love to do, and that’s get in the end zone.”
At the moment, he’s recovering from a second bone graft surgery (doctors also removed a bone spur from his ankle), and is still in a walking boot. He said he’s about six week away from being able to “start moving a little bit.”
That could bring part of the Cowboys the offseason program into question, after he missed last year’s during his contract negotiations.
“Last year was the first time I wasn’t able to get to work out, and I just think it could have been better if I was able to get the full workouts I needed,” Bryant said. “It didn’t happen. This year is a whole totally different story.”
It better be, because after he and Tony Romo were injured, their season cratered, finishing 4-12, and stripping away some of the enthusiasm of the previous year’s playoff run. But he remains optimistic they’ll get back to that level
“I honestly do believe that,” Bryant said. “This off-season is extremely important for us. It gives us this opportunity to get our bodies back right. . . . We have something to prove, but we’re going to take our time, and we’re going to do it right.
“We just want to get back right and get back to playing football again.”
Taking the time now is easy, perhaps because he didn’t take enough time the first time. Bryant struggled to a career-worst season when he did come back, with just 31 receptions for 401 yards and three touchdowns in nine games, making it easy to forget.