Amari Cooper (ankle) feeling a 'whole lot better,' hopes to play in Saturday's preseason game

If it weren't for Dak Prescott's return from a broken ankle and subsequent shoulder issue during training camp, more consternation would surround Amari Cooper's elongated comeback from a surgically repaired ankle.

The good news for Dallas is that the star receiver is on track for the regular season.

Cooper told reporters that he's nearing 100 percent after his ankle felt no worse for wear after Monday's padded practice. The receiver's workload was limited Tuesday for precautionary reasons, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, but Cooper is slated to do more in Wednesday's session. If all goes well, he could participate in this week's preseason game Saturday against Houston.

"I would really have to run the full route tree," he said. "There's just a lot that I haven't done. When I was 100 percent, I did everything. I ran every route. Some things on the football field are harder to do than others. I haven't really done the more challenging aspects of my position yet."

Cooper underwent surgery in January. Typically the timetable for such an injury would have had him back in plenty of time for training camp. However, he suffered a setback that included bone inflammation. As a result, he came off the PUP list last week and Monday was his first big day of work.

Cooper said his ankle feels a "whole lot better now."

"I ain't been out there in a while," Cooper said. "It was cool [Monday]. ... After I went through individual [drills] and stuff like that, I was like, 'I feel good,' so I did a little bit more."

If Wednesday goes well, Cooper hopes to participate in the Cowboys' third preseason game -- assuming coaches and the training staff are on board.

With three weeks until the season opener versus Tampa Bay on Sept. 9, Cooper is on track to be ready, hopefully with a few preseason reps under his belt. The key is Cooper not suffering another setback in the coming days.

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