Dallas Cowboys defensive end Anthony Spencer likely needs microfracture knee surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season, owner Jerry Jones told KRLD radio Tuesday.
Spencer, who underwent arthroscopic surgery July 25 and was limited throughout training camp, said last week he suffered a setback in his rehab as he was held out of the Sunday's game against the Rams. Spencer played 34 snaps against the Chiefs. He missed all of training camp and the season opener.
It will be up to Spencer whether he has season-ending surgery on his troublesome left knee. He said last week he didn't think it was needed. It's not known what changed, but Spencer said he had dull pain in his knee after the game in Kansas City.
"A little bit of weakness," Spencer said describing his ongoing issues last week. "he brace has something to do with it, and I haven't really worn it. I just started running two weeks ago, and that was the most work I've done with that brace on. Just a little pain I haven't had throughout the year."
Spencer was designated the Cowboys' franchise player in free agency in March, giving him a one-year, $10.6 million salary. He is the second franchised defender to be felled by a major knee injury, joining Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton (torn ACL).
Microfracture surgery is a procedure that creates fractures in the bone to promote development of new cartilage. Running backs Reggie Bush and Marshall Faulk underwent similar operations, but not all of the operations can be hailed as successful and the recovery time greatly varies.