OXNARD, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys right tackle Marc Colombo should be moving around fine by the season opener, probably even better than he was earlier this preseason.
"That's the good news," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said.
Colombo was having arthroscopic surgery Monday to remove five loose particles from his right knee. They became enough of a problem for him to leave the practice field on a cart Sunday.
"He's been playing with that type of situation, probably for the last couple of years," Jones said. "One (particle) really was limiting him and made note of it, so we'll take those out. I don't have exactly how long he'll be down, but those things have a time of 10 days to two weeks."
That timetable means Colombo will miss at least two preseason games. He could be back for the preseason finale Sept. 2, a game in which the starters traditionally play only a few snaps, if at all. He could be held out until the opener Sept. 12 at Washington.
"I don't have any doubt he'll be back for the opener based on the information I just got from the MRI and what we saw the problem was," Jones said.
Colombo missed the final seven games of the regular season last year, but that was because of his left ankle.
Doug Free replaced him then, but he's now the starter at left tackle. Youngsters Robert Brewster and Sam Young are the likely fill-ins Saturday night against San Diego. Offseason acquisition Alex Barron would be another option, but he's sidelined with a sprained ankle.
"This will give Brewster a good chance, Young a good chance. All that is good," Jones said. "Of course, Barron has had right tackle experience. We won't mess with Free. He's playing too well at left tackle. That's where we want him."
Colombo was beaten for two sacks in the last preseason game, part of a rocky start so far for the Dallas offense. It's possible the knee problem already was flaring up.
On Sunday, it wasn't even Colombo who turned it into a big issue.
"He wouldn't say a word," Jones said. "(Center) Andre Gurode had to come over and talk and say to the trainer or to his coach, `He's never going to say anything about it, but he's having a real struggle.' So he wouldn't even let anybody know he was having a problem."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press