FRISCO, Texas -- After going through organized team activities and two days of the Dallas Cowboys' mandatory minicamp, quarterback Dak Prescott pronounced himself back from a dislocated and compound fracture of his right ankle that forced him to miss 11 games in 2020.
"I've buried the injury," Prescott said after Wednesday's practice. "Honestly, guys, you know me, from the point of practice, from the point of just moving forward and going about my life, I've buried it mentally. And I think you guys and a lot of people around have to help me in burying it as well as we move forward."
Prescott can even pinpoint the exact day he got past thinking about his ankle.
"Had a good Cinco de Mayo, was a little active and at that time maybe did some little dance moves and I felt like I'm ready to go," Prescott said. "So that was the time that I said in my head, 'The injury's gone.'"
Prescott suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Cowboys' Week 5 win against the New York Giants on Oct. 11. He underwent surgery that night and a subsequent surgery in December that was unrelated to the dislocation.
While Prescott's rehab went well, he still had to see what he could do on the field during the offseason program. He was kept out of only 11-on-11 work so he would not have to deal with defenders or offensive linemen falling into his legs.
"Just knowing that I could do all the different drops, get away from pressure when I need to," Prescott said. "I'm sure you guys see the scramble drill that we've done a few times. That was a big one for my confidence, just being able to pivot and turn out left, get out to the right, change directions, not feeling anything and then look at the tape and realize day by day that I'm running more smoother, I'm getting better, I'm using my legs more when I throw. Those are just all building blocks and steppingstones for me to get where I want to be. It's just exciting."
On Tuesday, Mike McCarthy said he anticipated Prescott to take part in every portion of practice once training camp starts in July, but the team will be smart and listen to the quarterback if he needs a day off or to cut back on some work.
Prescott said any next-day soreness he experienced earlier in the offseason has subsided.
"I think the first couple of days we were also on the turf, maybe that played a part in it; doing more true just more drops and football movements than I have in the rehab part of it," he said. "From the first week of even teaching sessions to now, I left practice, will leave today, hopefully no soreness, no residual swelling or anything like that. I say that because with all that gone and none of those effects, that's what allows me and helps me bury it, to be honest with you guys. I don't even think about it before practice, pre-practice, but still doing all the necessary things and being smart that I am still only seven months away from the injury."
Prescott was given a recovery period of four to six months at the time of the injury. Teammates marveled at how he attacked his rehab even after signing a four-year, $160 million contract earlier in the offseason. He has been a regular at The Star for rehab and workouts, while also continuing to work with his personal quarterback coach. He will continue to throw to receivers and running backs before training camp begins while only taking a small breather.
"Whether that's training here, training with our guys or heading out to California and getting some more positional work," he said, "I'll do all the things necessary to, as I said, be the best I can be heading into camp."