T.O. improving, Glenn nicked

Tuesday, September 26th 2006, 10:24 pm
By: News On 6

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ The 2-inch scar on Terrell Owens' right hand is still a bit puffy. While that was enough to keep him out of practice Tuesday, his recovery time is almost done.

Cowboys coach Bill Parcells said he expects Owens to rejoin his teammates at practice Wednesday. If he proves he can play without worrying about his hand, he'll start Sunday in Tennessee.

``If I thought he was good to go and would help us, I would definitely play him,'' Parcells said. ``I just got to see him out there being a confident player. If it's going to act as a deterrent, I wouldn't want that because that would eventually hurt us. But if he can get to the point where he looks like he can function, and he feels pretty good about it, we'll do it.''

Owens broke the bone leading to his right ring finger a week ago Sunday night. The next day, a plate was screwed in, protecting the bone so it can heal without further damage.

``It's just, can he withstand the pain of catching the ball?'' Parcells said. ``When he can stand it, he can play.''

With the Cowboys having had a bye last weekend, Owens could return without having missed a game. He's already said he'll play Oct. 8, when he gets to face his former team, the Eagles, in Philadelphia.

On Tuesday, the Cowboys also practiced without tight end Jason Witten, whose wife was having a baby. Terry Glenn practiced, albeit with several stitches in his thumb.

``He was trying to cut some tape off his uniform,'' Parcells said. ``He had his hand down in his pants and he missed. Fortunately he cut his hand.''

Parcells had players on the field Monday, then decided to give them the day off. He brought them back Tuesday, their normal day off. Why?

``I thought I could get more done today,'' he said. ``I changed my mind at the last minute.''

Parcells said it wasn't a premeditated move, and it had nothing to do with Glenn's injury.

During the brief portion of practice that was open to reporters, Owens wore receivers gloves on both hands and looked at ease while catching and throwing passes with kicker Mike Vanderjagt.

In the locker room several hours later, Owens had an electric stimulation device strapped to his hand, then took it off and went about his business without any bandages. He got dressed, gripped his cell phone and reached into a bag of medicines without seeming uncomfortable, saying only that the swelling was ``going down'' and that he'd discuss it all with reporters on Wednesday.

``I'm talking to him every day,'' Parcells said. ``We've got a long time between now and the game.''