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OXNARD, CA When Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo missed a second practice on Tuesday, it brought up more questions about his off-season back surgery, especially since the team had the day off on Monday.

'It's good,' Romo said on Wednesday. Romo made his comments as a guest on 'The Hardline,' a show on sports radio station The Ticket.

'One of the things, and it's a little unique, there's not a ton of history of coming back after that (surgery) at my position,' Romo said. 'I have yet to do this consistently day in and day out and do all the stuff. I'm used to doing a certain thing to get myself ready coming off of it.'

Romo had back surgery during the last week of December after being injured during the Washington game on December 22. Multiple reports at the time said the herniated disc was in the lower back.

He was expected to be 100 percent healthy when he returned to training camp this month, but judging from his conversation Wednesday, reaching that level of health may never happen again.

'Coming back, you consistently have new tedious little things for your back, for the rest of my life if I'm going to be an active athletic individual,' Romo said. 'Plenty of people do it. What you find is you have to work on your glutes, your abs, your hamstrings and strengthen everything around your back. In doing that, what happens is that you may not be able to consistently do as much as you used to do.'

Romo has also said that it's not up to him when he practices, but that the medical personnel make that decision. Being back playing at 100 percent is possible with a few exceptions.

'I'm 100 percent, but your back will tell you after two and a half hours, after three and a half hours, after a morning and then an afternoon, and I mean just running, these things will say, 'OK, it's heavy, it's tired,'' Romo said.

'It's like coming off a surgery that's not all the way back yet, you have to get rested,' he continued. 'You have to go work it and then you've to give it rest. Then, eventually, it gets stronger and stronger. Mine has gotten stronger and stronger and I do everything 100 percent. I may just not be able do to it for three straight hours.'

Because of that, Romo says at this point, he simply needs days off.

'Yeah, I think that's part of what I'm really trying to find out, how long you can go, how many days?' he said. 'I mean, I can just do everything right now and then all of sudden you may have to stop for three straight days or four straight days. I don't necessarily want to do that, so we're trying to just be intelligent about the process.'

At this point of the training camp, Romo said he still doesn't know how his back will react during the regular season or how much practice time his back will be able to endure once the 16 game schedule begins.

'We get those days early in the week and then we get the day before the game, so I doubt that it'll affect the schedule during the season,' he said. 'I know people talk about hits, but that's not really the issue. It's mostly just torque and consistently putting that on your back.'

Romo also said that he also hasn't touched his golf clubs since the surgery, and that sounds like a good thing.

'No and it's probably going to stay that way for a while,' he said. 'I'll never be able to play every day because that's just a recipe for disaster. I'm a football player. The other stuff is fun; its great, but I have a small finite window in my life to play this game. God gave me a gift to play at hopefully an extremely high level and for me I want to make sure I manage that and I'm going to.'

Email griba@wfaa.com

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