Originally posted on Fox Sports Southwest  |  Last updated 9/2/12
IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Jason Witten is doing everything he can to be ready to play in the Dallas Cowboys' season opener. Yet no matter how good he feels, the seven-time Pro Bowl tight end won't know until Tuesday if he will be medically cleared. That is when he is scheduled to have a CT scan to determine if his lacerated spleen has healed enough to play. "You look for in how he's preparing himself to play in the game, then the answer is yes there," owner Jerry Jones said after the team's practice Sunday. "But realistically, how it sorts through relative to what he might do in a CAT scan test Tuesday, that probably will dictate whether he plays or not." It has been only three weeks since Witten got hurt when he took a hard hit in the side during the Aug. 13 preseason opener at Oakland. He had limited participation in practice Sunday, only his second day back in pads. Witten's scan is set before the team's departure for the NFL's kickoff game Wednesday night at the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. "If I get cleared, we're playing. It's the only way I believe you can approach the game," said Witten, who was then asked if he was optimistic about getting cleared. "I wouldn't say optimistic just because as of right now it's been a tough challenge to get to that point," he said. "Optimistic would be if it was in my hands and my control. So no from that standpoint." Sunday also marked the return to practice for cornerback Mike Jenkins, and Jones said he "practiced well." The former Pro Bowler missed all offseason work and training camp because of reconstructive shoulder surgery after last season. Jenkins passed his physical last week and was eligible to return to practice Saturday. But he missed that day because of migraine headaches. When asked of his chances of playing in the opener, Jenkins said he didn't know. "It was good. I got my feet up under me. I got a chance to get out there and work with the rest of the team," Jenkins said after his first practice. "I just got cleared. I'm guessing it's on me and the coaches, come together to a mutual decision when I can get back out." But Jenkins, who like Witten was limited in practice, said he has confidence in his surgically repaired shoulder. The Cowboys listed 14 injured players on their practice report. Among them were receivers Dez Bryant (right knee) and Miles Austin (hamstring), who were listed as full participants. Receivers coach Jimmy Robinson said both were making progress. "They're doing good out there," he said. Now the Cowboys have to wait to find out if they will have Witten. He has missed only one game in his career, as a rookie in 2003 because of a broken jaw. Witten was able to avoid surgery with the spleen injury. But there is uncertainty because of it being an internal issue. "The reality of it is spleen injuries are complicated because it got to the point where it didn't need surgery," he said. "I think it healed quicker than people thought. But ultimately, medically, it's a quick turnaround. You look it up a lot of times, those injuries are a lot longer than this. So I think it's just they've got to feel comfortable on seeing what I've done." Witten said he ran on the side Sunday and has pushed himself in conditioning. Quarterback Tony Romo is confident that Witten is ready and will be able to play. "The good thing is is J's been out here. For me, it's kind of exciting to know that we're probably going to have him in the game. That's something that's important," Romo said. "As of what I know, I think he's going to (play). ... He's been out there, he's been practicing. He's in my ear about all the plays."
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