MRI shows no damage to T.O.'s ailing hamstring
OXNARD, Calif. -- An MRI taken Saturday showed no damage to Terrell Owens' left hamstring, but the new Dallas receiver still isn't ready to get back on the practice field.
Owens missed his third straight day of work Saturday, this time sitting out an intrasquad scrimmage. He missed a morning walk-through to have the MRI.
"I'm not worried at all," said Owens, who has never had a hamstring problem before. "I know it'll get well. I know my body responds very quickly to treatment."
Owens rode a stationary bicycle so slow that fans razzed him to pick up the pace, and got off to do some exercises with trainers. Afterward, he stayed late to work with a rookie receiver, as he's done throughout his layoff.
They spent most of their half-hour session catching passes from a pitching machine, with Owens spinning to both sides after some grabs, and twisting and lunging for others while on his knees.
Despite those potentially injury-aggravating moves, Owens insisted he's being "smart with this thing."
"It's sore to the point that I feel like if I get on the field now and try to open up, it's just going to make matters worse," he said. "I just got to be cautious. I really want to try to push myself to get back out there, but it's not going to do the team any good, it's not going to do me any good if I get out there and push it and go beyond the limits."
Players are off Sunday, so Owens' next chance to practice will be Monday, when the Cowboys have two sessions scheduled. He repeatedly listed his status as day-to-day.
He said that once he feels "a little bit pain-free," he'll work with his personal trainers and the team's strength and conditioning staff "so it won't be a problem throughout the year."
"It's not like we're playing next week," he said, apparently referring to the regular season since the preseason opener is a week away. "If it was a dire situation, then yeah I would try to do everything I could to get back on the field."
Owens missed the final nine games of last season after essentially being banished by the Philadelphia Eagles. So the five days of practice before he felt a twinge Wednesday could have something to do with how long it's been since he was a full-time football player.
"That may have a part in this," he said. "I just have to keep doing the day-to-day treatments and eventually it'll get better. It's nothing I have to panic about."
Coach Bill Parcells remains more concerned about the work Owens has missed than about the chance this is a serious injury.
"It's a little disappointing from the fact that we're hoping that he's a big part of our offense and he really hasn't been able to be out there that much," Parcells said. "Hopefully we'll get him back soon and go forward with it."
The Dallas offense hasn't looked good the first week of training camp, mostly because of problems with the offensive line. Bledsoe also has said he needs to throw to Owens more to get their timing down, adding that he hopes to put in extra work with Owens after practices next week.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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