- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- Four key Dallas Cowboys will return to practice Tuesday after extended absences due to injuries, coach Wade Phillips said.
Linebacker Keith Brooking, receiver Dez Bryant, strong safety Gerald Sensabaugh and defensive end Marcus Spears have all been cleared to practice, although Sensabaugh will be held out of contact drills. Right tackle Marc Colombo is expected to practice next week.
The Cowboys are optimistic that four of the five will be ready for the Sept. 12 season opener against the Washington Redskins. Sensabaugh's status for the opener is in question as he recovers from a subluxation of his left shoulder suffered in the Aug. 21 preseason game against the San Diego Chargers.
Bryant tweeted Sunday night that he'd be "back in action Thursday," an indication that he would participate in the Cowboys' preseason finale Thursday against the Miami Dolphins. But Phillips said no decision has been made on whether Bryant, who suffered a high ankle sprain July 30, would play Thursday.
"We don't know yet," Phillips said. "We have to practice this week and see. I want to see how they practice this week also.
"I still want to get feedback from the doctors and the rehab people as to where he is and what the risks are. So, I think you have to take that into consideration certainly and whether another week and a half will be, he'll be stronger or he's the same."
Brooking suffered a shoulder injury in the Aug. 21 game and is healthy enough to play this week, Phillips said.
Spears sprained the MCL in his left knee during an Aug. 6 practice. He said Friday that he'll be healthy for the opener.
Colombo underwent surgery Aug. 16 to remove five loose particles in his right knee. The original prognosis was that he would be sidelined two weeks.
Left guard Kyle Kosier is considered doubtful for the opener due to a sprained MCL suffered Aug. 18.
"He's actually doing real well," Phillips said. "It's more of a 4-6 [week recovery process], more leaning toward the 6. I think they're leaning back the other way a little bit, but I don't know. We'll see. He's going to start some of his rehab this week and we'll see where he is."
1hEric D. Williams
1dBy Ian O'Connor