OXNARD, Calif. -- Could you blame Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee if he cursed his luck?
His football career has been full of injury misfortune, preventing him from fulfilling his Pro Bowl potential. He ended the past two seasons on injured reserve, where he'll spend this entire season after tearing the ACL in his left knee on the first day of organized team activities in May.
Lee puts in as much work as possible to prevent and recover from injuries but simply hasn't been able to stay healthy. However, he doesn't want sympathy. And he certainly doesn't ask himself, "Why me?"
"I don't like that question," Lee said Tuesday, the first time he's spoken with the media since his latest injury. "The main reason, from an adversity standpoint in the real world, I'm not dealing with much. So for me to sit and pout when there's other people dealing with adversity that's a lot worse, what I call like real-world adversity, there's no room for that. It only makes you worse. It only makes your rehab slower.
"So on that standpoint, I can't even go there. Why me? Because there's a lot worse out there. I know how to handle this. I know how to come back from this injury. You just have to deal with it. You take it on the chin and you figure it out."
Lee doesn't feel sorry for himself. More than anything, Lee feels guilt for letting down his teammates and franchise, although he knows logically that it isn't his fault he's out for the season again.
"That was probably one of the toughest parts, feeling like you're letting people down," said Lee, who rehabs his knee for four to six hours per day and attends all meetings during training camp.
Lee certainly acknowledges being frustrated about his situation. That was evident as he was shouting expletives when he was helped off the Valley Ranch practice field in May, well aware that he had torn his ACL.
But being frustrated won't help Lee make a comeback or the Cowboys win games this season. He tries to stay as positive as possible and find ways to contribute, which is why he's serving as sort of a volunteer coach, as he did while recovering from a torn ACL in his right knee during the 2008 season at Penn State.
"I was frustrated, but at the same point, I was prepared for it and I know that I can come back from it," Lee said. "I obviously haven't shown an ability to stay on the field consistently, but I have shown the ability to come back from injuries and come back better sometimes. So that's my plan."
Lee has tremendous perspective. Lee has a sound plan. Now all Lee needs is a little luck.